Man Jai the youngest member of Melbourne Zoo’s elephant herd has met his dad for the first time. The 321kg elephant was dwarfed by his father Bong Su who weighs in at just under 5 tonne. He also stands about 4m tall.
He was wary of his dad at first but his big sister Mali who was very bold in approaching him to show her affection.
In the wild the male is not required to help raise the calves and as such lives a solitary life. It is only on rare occasions that he will return to the group. Keepers decided now was a time when this may occur. They were pleased with just how well it went.
He has lived in the female herd for a his entire life. This consists of his mum Dokkoon, other cows Kulab, Num-Oi and Mek Kapah as well as his big sister Mali.
Asian elephants are threatened in the wild due to destruction of their habitat. This is being removed to create palm oil plantations. Melbourne Zoo run a program called Don’t Palm Us Off which calls for manufacturers to switch to Certified Sustainable Palm Oil. This is produced without the removal of animal habitat.
Photo Credit: Melbourne Zoo