Luk Chai cools off under the waterfall
Photo by Paul Fahy
Name: Luk Chai - 'Son'
Location: Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo
Luk Chai was the first elephant calf ever to be born in Australia. His birth heralded a significant step forward in our regions effort to conserve the Asian Elephant as this species is endangered in the wild and faces an uncertain future.
Luk Chai was born after a gestation period of 660 days to Thong Dee who was a former street elephant from Bangkok. At birth he weighed 96kg and will one day weigh in excess of 5000kg as he matures into an adult bull.
Just like his father Gung, Luk Chai is full of personality and loves attention and interacting with keepers. He is laid-backed, easy-going, cheeky, playful and a fast learner.
Since moving out to Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo as part of the expansion of the regional breeding program, Luk Chai has settled into his new surroundings extremely well. His confident nature has ensured he takes everything in his stride.
He is a keen and strong swimmer and often disappears into the deep water of the top pool for long periods, surfacing triumphant with a prize from the deep such as a piece of Cocos log or pineapple plant stump.
Luk Chai is well respected by the whole herd and interacts very well with the other male calf – Pathi Harn, often lying on the ground and allowing him to climb all over him. Both he and Pathi Harn spend their days wrestling and sparring like all young bulls at this age, and he has continued his love of wallowing and swimming.