Year: 10 March 2010
The Elephant Keepers at Taronga would like to request that Pathi Harn be known by his proper name, and not nicknames he was saddled with as a newborn. Thank you!
Pathi Harn was the second Asian elephant calf to be born at Taronga Zoo. He was conceived by our female matriarch Porntip to Melbourne Zoo’s bull elephant - Bong Su through artificial insemination. This was performed by a world renowned team of elephant reproduction specialists from the Berlin Institute of Zoo Biology and Wildlife Research. This artificial insemination technique is vital to the genetic diversity and health of the future elephant herd to ensure that the calves are not all related.
Porntip was in labour for 8 days during which it was discovered through ultrasound technology that Pathi Harn was upside down making it impossible for him to proceed down the birth canal. This had never been witnessed or recorded before.
Towards the end of the protracted labour no signs of life from Pathi Harn were detected leading reproductive experts to conclude he had died in the womb.
Remarkably, in the early hours of the 10th March 2010 Porntip managed to turn Pathi Harn into a birthing position and against all odds give birth to him at 3.27am.
For the first 24 hours he was very fragile and required a lot of help and therapy from keepers in assisting him to walk and suckle.
Pathi Harn weighed 116kg’s at birth. On his first birthday he weighed in at 506kg’s and he continues to grow and grow.
Pathi Harn is a very happy calf who is always looking for attention, just like his mum Porntip.
He is playful and inquisitive but is not as confident and bold as Luk Chai or Tukta. However, he refuses to take a backward step when interacting with Luk Chai and they can both be seen sparring & wrestling constantly throughout the day.
Young calves like Pathi Harn will ensure a future for elephants in Australia for generations to come, help to create awareness on issues threatening wild elephants and play a part in raising support and funding for conservation programs throughout Asia.