Ongard the grumpy elephant celebrates at Melbourne Zoo

Melborne Zoo’s elephant Ongard has turned 4 this week celebrating with the zookeepers who gave him a birthday cake.

When Ongard went out into his paddock on his birthday he was none the wiser to the festivities which were due to take place and was going about his business when his keeper called him over. This brought his attention to the cake and his natural curiosity took hold of him.


The zoos bakery created the cake from bananas and dates. Little treats such as popcorn and leaves were used to decorate with sugar canes acting as the four candles.

Originally the young elephant just stood and watched the cake from all angles taking a walk around to make sure he had seen all of it.

Then the rambunctious youngster proceeded to give the cake a good kick showing he was a bit grumpy. After that though he became happy and began to pick through his cake devouring all of his different goodies.

Now that he is 4 Ongard weighs in at 1,900kg a rapid growth from when he was born weighing just 142kg. When he was born on the 10th of September 2010 he became the first male elephant calf ever born at Melbourne Zoo.


Even though his current weight sounds relatively heavy it is nothing when compared to his dad. Bong Su Melbourne Zoo’s bull male weighs in at almost 5 tonne which means he is Australia’s largest animal.

His mother made the journey from Thailand in 2006 as one of three young calves imported to the zoo. These animals have formed a new conservation breeding program which has seen success stories such as the birth of Ongard.

Now that he has grown up the young calf has begun spending more time with his father preparing to leave his maternal herd as he naturally would in the wild.

Photo Credit: Melbourne Zoo


By Cale Russell is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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