Four years from the day that our Asian elephant herd first arrived in Australia, our latest addition has arrived! Our first female elephant calf was born at Taronga Zoo at 1:12am this morning.
The elephant team had planned to only intervene if necessary in the birth, as the herd has proven themselves to more than capable with newborns. After a 20 minute labour from mum Pak Boon, our female calf entered the world in the lower paddock of The Rainforest Trail. Pak Boon’s natural instincts kicked in and she helped the calf out of its amniotic sac.
As heavy rain was threatening, keepers needed to get the newborn to shelter so they assisted the calf’s walking by supporting her with a sling. The calf took everyone by surprise by how strong & robust she was, virtually leading everyone into the barn.
Pak Boon is making a wonderful mother and other members of the herd are showing a keen interest in getting to know the new addition. The calf is a strong and healthy 120 kilograms and first suckled from her mum just over an hour after the birth and was walking unaided within 2.5 hours. Pak Boon and her calf are currently warm in the barn spending some bonding time together.