Calf Takes a Dip and Investigates Toys

Calf Takes a Dip and Investigates Toys

#Taronga Zoo Sydney

Posted on 10th November 2010 by Media Relations


The new calf loves being hosed so much we thought we would encourage her to go for a swim in the waterfall pool. She readily followed her mum Pak Boon into the pool but when it got a little deep, she ran back out onto dry land to Porntip. Not long after she went back into the cool water but once again didn’t stay too long. We’re sure in time she’ll grow to enjoy the water just like the 2 boys have.

The new calf discovered some elephant calf toys when she came into the barn last night. The toys need to be pretty indestructible so they’re usually tough and made of rubber. Luk Chai and Pathi Harn love to play with the different things we place in their enclosure for them.  The new calf is already so aware of new things, that she started playing with the toys too. She was mouthing and pressing her head on a rubber tub and also pushing a plastic disc with her front foot.  Today, she was attempting to pick up a soccer ball. We have the balls almost completely deflated so they don’t ‘pop’ if the calves (or adults!) put pressure on them. The new calf was propping the ball off the ground with a front foot and then trying to pick it up with her trunk. She’s not quite coordinated enough to be successful yet but she got very close!

It has been interesting comparing the different nurturing styles of the mothers with their calves. Thong Dee would readily leave Luk Chai with his aunties whereas Porntip kept Pathi Harn very close preferring to keep him to herself. Pak Boon seems to be a combination of the two mothers she keeps her calf very close but needs some time-out every now and then. Yesterday, while she splashed around in the mud wallow, she left her calf under the care of Porntip. Today when Pak Boon went for a swim in the moat, she let Tang Mo do some baby-sitting.

Elephant keeper, Kat