Asian Elephant calf Sabai turns six months of age on 2 May and he now weighs in at over 320 kilograms. Sabai continues to put on approximately nine kilograms each week and is still mostly nursing from his mother, Thong Dee. Over the past few weeks he has started eating more solid foods, including small bits of apples and bananas. Developmentally Sabai is advancing like most other calves of his age. He has improved at using his trunk to pick things up and has been trying to throw dirt on his back like his mother and aunty.
When on exhibit Sabai likes to follow his mum around, chase birds as well as take naps. Sabai has started interacting with his keepers, often smelling and playing with our shoes or leaning in for a rub. Generally he stays close by his mother and aunty most of the time since they ensure his safety, but he will slowly venture away more as he gets older and more confident.
Sabai’s big brother, Luk Chai, has been spending time with him in the paddocks periodically over the last couple of months. Luk Chai goes out on exhibit with Thong Dee, Sabai, and Porntip. Luk Chai is very respectful of Sabai and doesn’t play too rough with him, which was expected since Luk Chai has grown up with two other calves. During the first few introductions of Luk Chai and Sabai keepers kept close watch to ensure everything was going well, but we soon realised that Luk Chai was behaving like a good older brother. Sabai often follows Luk Chai around if he is on exhibit with the herd. We will continue to have Luk Chai and Sabai spend time together and as Sabai gets older we will then introduce him to Pathi Harn, our other young bull.
By Keeper, Sheryl Cummins