Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s expectant Asian Elephant, Thong Dee is continuing to do well as she reaches the final stage of her pregnancy.
Thong Dee is being monitored and observed on a daily basis and taking blood to measure her progesterone levels twice a week. This provides important information as to how close the impending birth may be.
Elephants have a very long gestation period, around 22 months. Due to this the window for the birth is more than two months, from now till mid December.
This is an exciting time for the zoo following the four Asian Elephants arriving from Taronga Zoo early last year.
Any elephant birth is extremely exciting for the team that works so closely and has built strong bonds and relationships with the animals. We are all very excited and can't wait to meet Thong Dee’s calf in the not too distance future.
The zoo’s elephant keepers are all very well prepared for the birth. The elephants are monitored via camera overnight from a remote location, as well as having experienced staff and the veterinary team on hand when Thong Dee goes into labour.
Births have been recorded at all times of the day but the vast majority occur overnight, in the early hours of the morning.
This will be the first elephant calf born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo since the zoo opened almost 40 years ago, and will be a milestone that both the Zoo and local community will celebrate.
By Elephant keeper, Bradd Johnston