As pineapple tops were scattered throughout the paddock, Taronga’s female elephant herd along with Luk Chai and Pathi Harn had some very special onlookers.
Taronga was visited yesterday by Most Venerable Somdet Phramaha Muniwong, Member of the Buddhist Governing Council of Thailand. He was one of the first pioneering Thai Buddhist monks who came to Australia in 1973 and was accompanied by other Buddhist Monks from Thailand and Australia and His Excellency Kiattikhun Chartprasert, the Royal Thai Consul General. Taronga Zoo believes it is important to maintain the cultural ties that exist between the Thai people and our elephant herd which came from their country.
They watched on from the Stilt House above the elephant paddock as Luk Chai and Pathi Harn played on their dirt mound under the watchful eye of mothers and aunts. There was playful head butting and tail twirling before the mud wallow was stocked with fresh water which, of course, meant fresh mud! Luk Chai was running from one side to the other which in turn created what looked like a set of mud-coloured gum boots all the way up to his knees. His mother, Tong Dee, was happy to be hosed in the mouth with her trunk held high and along her back keeping well out of the way of Luk Chai’s antics. As all this was going on Pathi Harn was content with his mud hill as if he was the king of the paddock, standing with his ears flapping forward and trunk flopping around like crazy.