Four Asian Elephants packed their trunks in the past few weeks and made the move from Sydney to Dubbo. The elephants arrived at the zoo in 2 pairs during the early hours of April 24th and May 1st.
Porntip and her calf Pathi Harn made the trip from Taronga Zoo to Taronga Western Plains Zoo on Friday April 24th. Luk Chai and his mum Tong Dee made the move a week later on April 1st.
General Manager, Matthew Fuller said, “The transfers went smoothly, with all four elephants arriving in the early morning after travelling overnight by road in purpose-built transport crates.”
After arriving at the zoo the elephants wasted no time in exiting their crate and entering a state of the art facility at the zoo. They were greeted by keepers including some which had travelled from Sydney to be with them.
“They’ve settled in well and we’re giving them lots of time to explore and become familiar with their new surroundings.”
“We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome these new arrivals as we take up our role in the Regional Conservation Management Plan for Asian Elephants,” added Fuller.
Fuller explained, “This program has had many milestones, from working with the Thai Government to select elephants for a conservation breeding program and bring them to Australia, to establishing a viable breeding program with three births already at Taronga, and now the expansion of the herd to Taronga Western Plains Zoo. The success of the program is a credit to all involved and we’re so pleased to now take it forward and play our part.”
Seven elephants now reside at Taronga Western Plains. This includes six Asian elephants along with the last African elephant in Australia known as Cuddles.
“The arrival of new elephants on the scene has caused a stir amongst our older female elephants, with Cuddles, Burma and Gigi all interested in the newcomers.”
“Visitors to the Zoo will see the elephants on display as they are introduced to their new paddocks over the coming weeks,” explained Fuller.
Photo Credit: Taronga Western Plains Zoo/ Rick Stevens