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Taronga Zoo Blog

Tuesday 1st September 2009
Luk Chai has been having lots of fun in the mud wallow! For the past few days he’s been in it everyday with the girls as they cool off in the mud. He’s like a pig in mud the way he rolls about.
Monday 31st August 2009
I’m currently learning how to lure fly our Peregrine Falcon Khan. We have a leather lure that we swing around and send out to Khan as he flies by. If he catches it, he wins. And Khan always wins!
Friday 28th August 2009
Spring-like weather has given sharp-eyed Taronga visitors a chance to glimpse Lincoln, a six month old koala joey which has just started to spend most of his time outside of his mother’s pouch.
Thursday 27th August 2009
The Conservatorium High School paid us a visit today. They came behind the scenes after spending the night at the zoo.
Tuesday 18th August 2009
Luk Chai discovered a new toy today – a large soccer ball which the girls in the herd like to play with. He head-butted it around the yard and eventually worked out how to kick it with his foot.Luk Chai kicked the ball so hard it went flying down to their lower paddock. He stood there for a few minutes trying to work out where his ball went and I raced down to retrieve it for him. When I returned he’d already discovered a new game. The little rascal was chasing one the girls around the paddock in a game of tag.
Monday 17th August 2009
The whole herd decided to play in the mud wallow this morning. This is the first time the Luk Chai has tried out the deeper wallow and found himself knee deep in the mud as a result.Pak Boon was particularly happy to wallow in the mud and Luk Chai seeing an opportunity to gain higher ground attempted to climb her. He wasn’t very successful as she’s one of the larger girls, but that didn’t stop him trying.
Saturday 15th August 2009
Our little Luk Chai received a traditional Thai blessing today from eight Monks followed by an ecumenical cermony to celebrate his birth. The herd enjoyed their morning feed in the paddock while watching the traditional blessing ceremony which involved chanting and prayers. Luk Chai seemed quite unaware of anything unusual. He was more interested in the bamboo shoots mum was eating and seeing what mum and the aunties where up to.At the end of the ceremony Luk Chai, Thong Dee and chief aunty, Tang Mo, followed us Keepers into the barn for the final part of the ceremony. The Monks sprinkled water on Luk Chai’s head to bless him and wish him good health and success. Luk Chai was very interested in the Monks, saying hello and checking them out with his trunk.The Monks offered Luk Chai some bananas, but of course he’s not quite ready to eat them yet. Tang Mo and Thong Dee were only too happy to look after them!
Friday 14th August 2009
A very special event today - Thong Dee and Tang Mo's former owners flew in from Thailand to attend a blessing ceremony this weekend where Luk Chai will be blessed by Buddhist monks. Tang Mo and Thong Dee had not seen their former Thai mahout for three years. The mahout, Mau, had grown up with these elephants and spent two years working alongside the Taronga team in Thailand before the elephants were imported to Australia.The elephants were at first very surprised to see him, and then affectionately surrounded him, smelling him and inspecting with their trunks. Mau spoke to them in Thai and they immediately responded, doing anything he asked. Clearly they're still very fluent in Thai!Mau said all the elephants looked incredibly healthy and he was happy for them. They introduced him to Luk Chai and Mau gave the calf a big hug, declaring him 'perfect'.
Friday 14th August 2009
Today we gave our flock of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos a phone book to play with. We hung it up on the side of their aviary and at first they weren’t too sure about it.
Monday 10th August 2009
The calf has found a new game! We rolled an inflatable ball towards Luk Chai. After a few goes he got the hang of it and kicked the ball right back to us using his feet and trunk.Aunty Pak Boon was very interested in his new game. She kept an eye on us and wanted to have a go too, but she’s too big to play soccer with the calf just yet.