Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Elephant calf on exhibit in Dubbo

Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Asian Elephant calf will make his public debut today alongside mother Thong Dee and aunty Porntip in Dubbo.

“The male calf born on Wednesday 2 November has been doing well over the past few days and we are very pleased with how mother and calf are progressing,” said Elephant supervisor, Glenn Sullivan.

“Thong Dee, Porntip and the calf have spent the days since his birth bonding together in their paddock and behind the scenes elephant barn under the watchful eye of zoo keepers,” said Glenn.

Today the elephant calf will explore a new paddock on display to the public. The calf will be on display from 10am – 2:30pm daily with mother, Thong Dee and aunty, Porntip.

“The calf weighs a healthy 101 kilograms and has already experienced his first bath alongside mother, Thong Dee, which will form part of his daily routine,” said Glenn.

“The calf is very inquisitive and has been enjoying playing in the sand and exploring his surroundings alongside his mother.”

“The Zoo is still abuzz with excitement following the birth of our first elephant calf. We’ve had so many well wishes from the community and other Zoos and organisations around Australia, it’s been very heart warming,” said Zoo Director, Matthew Fuller.

“The calf, along with the other Asian Elephants here in Dubbo play a vital role as ambassadors for their wild counterparts. They help educate visitors about the decline of wild populations due to habitat destruction and human-animal conflict, and what we are doing to help,” said Mr Fuller.

Taronga has a successful breeding program for the Asian Elephant at both Sydney and Dubbo, and is active in the field working with governments and conservation agencies in Asia to help stop the decline of Asian Elephants in the wild. Taronga also supports wildlife protection units and ranger stations in Thailand and Sumatra to help prevent elephant poaching.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is calling for name suggestions for the new elephant calf. Suggestions can be entered online at www.taronga.org.au/namedubboelephant, with keepers to choose the most suitable name. Entries close 13 November 2016.