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Kanlaya the Asian Elephant calf

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is thrilled to announce the name ‘Kanlaya’ has been chosen for the now one-month-old female Asian Elephant calf born on 14 June. Kanlaya means beautiful lady in Thai.

The winning name was chosen from over 5000 entries received through the Zoo’s national naming competition. Zoo keepers from both Taronga Western Plains Zoo and Perth Zoo selected the winning name from the thousands of entries, Perth Zoo being home to Kanlaya’s father, Putras Mas.

“We chose to name because we all think she is a beautiful addition to our herd”, said Elephant Supervisor, Glenn Sullivan.

Kanlaya is now just over one month old and is meeting all the key milestones her keepers want to see at this age. She is very strong and has really grown in confidence over the past month.

“Kanlaya often leads Porntip out on to their exhibit in the mornings, but once out she spends most of her time close to mum, often underneath her,” said Glenn.

Kanlaya is steadily gaining weight and now weighs over 120kgs. Like most elephants she likes water.

“Kanlaya is already starting to join in the herd’s morning routine. While we bath Porntip, she will often enjoy a little warm hose down as well, and even more recently a little scrub,” said Glenn.

Porntip and aunty Thong Dee are both very caring and nurturing towards the calf and ensure that older cousin Sabai doesn’t get too close. Sabai is very curious of the new addition and sometimes requires Porntip to provide him with some boundaries. Over the coming months keepers will continue to monitor Kanlaya’s growth and development and will start to see her become more inquisitive about her surroundings.  

Kanlaya and the Asian Elephant herd can be seen on exhibit daily from 10am – 2pm. Taronga Western Plains Zoo is now home to nine Asian Elephants.

“The daily elephant keeper talk at 11:45am is a great time to see the calf, and to learn more about all of the elephants here at the Zoo and this species in the wild,” said Glenn.