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Taronga Conservation Society Australia is delighted to congratulateMelbourne Zoo on the successful arrival of Australia’s second AsianElephant calf overnight.

Taronga CEO Cameron Kerr said: “After a 22 month pregnancy, we’re verypleased for Melbourne Zoo with the successful birth of their firstcalf. The little female was born overnight to mother Dokkoon and isreportedly doing well.

“This result is another triumph for the zoo-based regionalconservation breeding program for this species, which is endangered inthe wild.”

Melbourne Zoo together with Taronga Zoo brought seven females and amale elephant from work camps in Thailand to start the regionalbreeding program in 2006. Through a combination of world-class elephantexpert staff and excellent facilities, the program has been a greatsuccess.

Taronga’s first calf was born in July 2009, named Luk Chai, and afurther three elephants are pregnant across both zoos. The next duewill be to the matriarch of Taronga Zoo’s herd, eighteen year oldPorntip, expected in coming months.

Asian Elephant populations are under heavy pressure in the wildthrough loss of habitat and conflict with humans. It’s estimated thereare as few as 34,000 left in fragmented remnant forests. Managedbreeding programs create genetically healthy insurance populationsagainst the possibility of further collapse of wild populations.

Mr Kerr said: “The birth of any animal of an endangered species is always a remarkable and joyous event.”

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