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7 Feb 2008

Arna and Gigi arrive at Western Plains Zoo

Stardust Circus elephants ‘Arna' and ‘Gigi' arrived at Taronga Western Plains Zoo on Monday 15 January 2008.  The zoo is their temporary home while regional zoo elephant experts undertake behavioural and health assessments on the two animals.

The move was prompted after a worker at Stardust Circus was injured while working with the elephants in December. He subsequently died.  Taronga Western Plains Zoo staff were happy to be able to help the elephants by moving them into the zoo's open range custom-designed facilities.

Once the assessments are complete, recommendations will be made to all zoos that hold elephants in Australia about the best long-term home for Arna and Gigi.

After ‘Arna' and ‘Gigi' had settled into their new surroundings keepers introduced them to the zoo's resident Asian elephant ‘Burma'.

"The three elephants have been getting to know each other over past few weeks and are displaying positive signs of social interaction which is great to see," said Linda Gardiner, Elephant Unit Supervisor at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

"Arna and Gigi are enjoying their new home at Taronga Western Plains Zoo has to offer as well as providing company for Burma," said Linda.

Visitors to Taronga Western Plains Zoo can see Burma, Arna and Gigi at the Asian elephant exhibit were they now enjoy spending time in the mud wallows as well as taking a dip in their very own pool.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located in Dubbo in Central Western NSW.  The zoo is open everyday from 9am - 4pm (exit gates close at 5pm).  For more information about the zoo visit www.taronga.org.au or contact 02 6881 1400.

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