Thursday, 10 November 2016


Taronga Western Plains Zoo has welcomed its very first Asian Elephant calf, a historic moment for Dubbo.

The male calf was born on Wednesday afternoon and within 30 minutes was standing on its own. Mother Thong Dee and calf will be given further time to bond behind-the-scenes before making their public debut. The Zoo will soon be announcing a competition to help choose a name for the calf.

Zoo Director Matthew Fuller said the birth was a momentous achievement.

“Thong Dee is doing a magnificent job and the successful birth is a tribute to the hard work of our keepers and veterinary staff. It’s a milestone achievement in the almost 40-year history of our zoo and we couldn’t be happier. Every birth is important as it helps to secure a future for this endangered species,” Mr Fuller said.

Keepers and vets were on hand throughout the labour and birth of the calf yesterday.

Elephant Supervisor Glenn Sullivan said, “Everything went very smoothly with the birthing process. Thong Dee and the calf are in good health and spending time together in the elephant barn.”

Coincidentally the birth occurred with both the 10th anniversary of the elephant herd’s arrival in Australia from Thailand in 2006 and the sixth birthday of Taronga’s third elephant calf, Tukta.

Taronga has now welcomed four elephant calves across both Zoos since the breeding program commenced 10 years ago, with three calves born in Sydney.

Click here to learn more about the Taronga Conservation Society Australia.

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