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Sabai the Asian Elephant calf

Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s male Asian Elephant calf has been officially named ‘Sabai’ meaning peaceful, happiness, relaxed or comfortable in Thai.

The name was chosen from almost 1500 suggestions via a naming competition presented by the Daily Telegraph.

The naming competition called for suggestions that reflected the Thai origin of the elephants, with the winner Belle Lordan from Dubbo suggesting Sabai.

“We chose the name Sabai as the whole team felt it was fitting of his personality and demeanour and really suited a male elephant,” said Elephant Supervisor, Glenn Sullivan. 

“Sabai is almost one month old and is continuing to progress well, meeting all the key milestones for a calf his age. He is very strong and confident and is steadily gaining weight,” said Glenn.

Sabai was recently introduced to his brother, Luk Chai through a fence, which was a very positive experience. Keepers hope to introduce Luk Chai to the herd in the future so Sabai can learn natural male elephant behaviours from his brother.

“Sabai is like most elephants and really loves the water, whether he is being hosed down by his keepers or splashing about in a shallow pool,” said Glenn.

“Thong Dee and Porntip are continuing to be very caring and nurturing of the young calf and he is often seen running from one adult to the other,” said Glenn.

“It is really exciting to say that I have named an elephant at the Zoo and that it will grow up in Dubbo just like I have,” said Belle Lordan, winner of the Daily Telegraph’s Elephant Calf naming competition.

Over the next few weeks keepers will expect to see the calf continue grow in confidence and be increasingly inquisitive about the environment around him.