Year: 1997 (estimated)
Thong Dee is easy to distinguish due to the notch at the top of her right ear and she also has small tusks (called ‘tushes’ in Asian female elephants).
Prior to arriving in Australia Thong Dee was a former street elephant from Bangkok. Street elephants are used by their owners to beg for money from tourists who pay to have photos taken with them.
City streets are hazardous places for elephants and many are hit by vehicles and suffer from polluted food sources. Luckily for Thong Dee her owners decided on a different future for her and put her into the care of Taronga Zoo rather than continue her life on the streets.
Since arriving into our group she has become a very laidback and happy elephant. Whether the group is swimming or wrestling in a mud wallow, you can be sure to find Thong Dee right in the middle or in most cases on the bottom due to her size but none-the-less having a great time.
Thong Dee and our maturing male, Gung, get along very well and together produced the first ever Asian Elephant calf born in Australia in July 2009 - named Luk Chai, which is Thai for 'son'.
Thong Dee is a good mum and her calf Luk Chai will continue to feed from her for up to 3 - 4 years.