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Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Frank Sartor, todayannounced that Taronga’s new elephant calf will be named Pathi Harn(pronounced ‘par tea harn’).

“The people of NSW and zoo keepers have chosen Pathi Harn - the Thai word for miracle - as the new name for Mr Shuffles,” Mr Sartor said.

“The calf was formally blessed in a naming ceremony today by BuddhistMonks and Reverend Bill Crews of the Exodus Foundation.

“Pathi Harn’s story has really captured the public’s imagination and they have chosen a name that reflects this,” Mr Sartor said.

Pathi Harn was one of seven names that almost 10,000 members of the community voted on to help zoo keepers choose a name for the babyelephant. The other names included:

  • Tay Wan - meaning boy in heaven
  • Ming Khwan - meaning good internal strength, good attitude
  • Nam Chok - meaning brings with him good fortune
  • Mongkon - meaning auspicious
  • Boon Thung - meaning merit has led to reaching this life
  • Chok Dee - meaning very good luck

Taronga’s first calf, Luk Chai, which means ‘son’ in Thai, wasalso named by the community.

Mr Sartor confirmed Pathi Harn is Taronga’s first calf born byArtificial Insemination, and following a difficult birth, keepers spentmuch of his first 24 hours working to help keep him alive.

“Pathi Harn is getting stronger and is now playing with Luk Chai in the mud wallow,” Mr Sartor said.

“He was born at 116kg and after drinking up to 12 litres of milk eachday, he now weighs 130kg.

“There are as few as 34,000 Asian Elephants remaining in the wild so the people of NSW can feel proud of Taronga’s conservation efforts to support these animals,” Mr Sartor said.

The Zoo’s Director Cameron Kerr confirmed the naming ceremony emphasises the cultural heritage of the adult elephants which all came from Thailand to Taronga in 2006.

“The Zoo is grateful to the Thai Consul General, Khun Kiattikhun Chartprasert, to the monks including Pra Ratcha Silaporn, and Reverend Crews for making this a special day,” Mr Kerr said.

Pathi Harn can be seen at different times during the day, exploring the paddocks, playing with Luk Chai, his mother Porntip and aunts, Tang Mo, Thong Dee and Pak Boon.

Elephant Calf Key Facts:

  • The calf’s name is Pathi Harn (pronounced par tea harn) meaning ‘miracle’ in Thai
  • Chosen from a list of seven names with community help through a joint Taronga-Daily Telegraph competition
  • Pathi Harn, a male, is the 2nd Asian Elephant calf born at Taronga to Mother Porntip
  • He is the first calf born at Taronga by Artificial Insemination
  • Although vital signs absent on 8 March, calf born alive at 3.27 am on Tuesday 10 March
  • Australasian conservation breeding program now has three calves born; two at Taronga and one at Melbourne Zoo. Two more are due this year
  • As few as 34,000 Asian Elephants remain in the wild
  • Taronga’s breeding program contributes to the NSW State Plan by providing public education and awareness programs about species conservation and management
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