Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo has welcomed four Asian Elephants from sister zoo, Taronga, in Sydney.
The elephants arrived in two transfers one week apart, with Porntip and her calf Pathi Harn arriving Friday 24 April, and Thong Dee and her calf Luk Chai on Friday 1 May.
“This is a really exciting time for Taronga Western Plains Zoo,” General Manager Matthew Fuller said.
“The transfers went smoothly, with all four elephants arriving in the early morning after travelling overnight by road in purpose-built transport crates.”
Mr Fuller said the elephants walked out of their crates straight into the Zoo’s new state of the art facility, to be greeted by their keepers, some of whom had travelled with them from Sydney.
“They’ve settled in well and we’re giving them lots of time to explore and become familiar with their new surroundings,” said Matt.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome these new arrivals as we take up our role in the Regional Conservation Management Plan for Asian Elephants.
“This program has had many milestones, from working with the Thai Government to select elephants for a conservation breeding program and bring them to Australia, to establishing a viable breeding program with three births already at Taronga, and now the expansion of the herd to Taronga Western Plains Zoo. The success of the program is a credit to all involved and we’re so pleased to now take it forward and play our part.”
The four new elephants take the total number of elephants at Taronga Western Plains Zoo to seven – six Asian Elephants and one African Elephant.
“The arrival of new elephants on the scene has caused a stir amongst our older female elephants, with Cuddles, Burma and Gigi all interested in the newcomers,” Matt said.
“Visitors to the Zoo will see the elephants on display as they are introduced to their new paddocks over the coming weeks.”