Ten-year old male elephant Gung seemed to really enjoy his play session with the keepers today.
Part of Gung's play session involves moving logs, like his forbears once did in Thailand
Gung shows the dexterity of his trunk by threading quoits onto a rod.
After carefully placing the ball, Gung takes a run-up to kick it right over the fence.
He enthusiastically participated in the entire session, demonstrating the fantastic fitness, strength and dexterity that is so impressive about him. Gung showed how elephants have been used in the past in Asia to push huge logs around and showing great power. He also has the finesse to balance small items on an uneven tree stump, and then did a fantastic drop kick of a football that went sailing over the fence.
Play sessions like these maintain the bonds between Gung and his keepers, are a great way to keep him active and stimulated.
He seems to put a lot of concentration into everything he does and today enjoyed the public's enthusiastic responses.
This afternoon Gung went for a lengthy swim in his pool and had fun trying to sink the large floating enrichment toy.
Just like in the wild, once Gung reached maturity he left the maternal herd and went to his own specialised facilities. He still has visits from the females, but also enjoys the bonds he has with all of the keeping staff.
Gung is father to Taronga's oldest elephant calf, Luk Chai and will continue to contribute to the zoo's conservation breeding program for elephants in the future.