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Caring for Ageing Elephants

Elephant aged care program
Three of the elephants at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are considered to be in their twilight years. To ensure all three females maintain good health and a high quality of life as they grow older, keepers and veterinarians at the Zoo have put in place a special care program to assist with age related matters.

Gung

Gung's relationship with the females has evolved over time, as he has transitioned from a youngster to an adolescent male motivated to breed regularly. Gung has proved his important role in the Australasian conservation breeding program by breeding naturally with two of our females – Thong Dee & Pak Boon.

Tang Mo

Tang Mo is extremely intelligent, very energetic and thrives on attention and interaction with her keepers. She's also the most vocal elephant in our group, showing great enthusiasm for all the games and activities with the keepers.

Luk Chai

Luk Chai was the first elephant calf born in Australia. He was born after a gestation period of 660 days to Thong Dee who was a former street elephant from Bangkok. He is laid-backed, easy-going, cheeky, playful and a fast learner.

Thong Dee

Prior to arriving in Australia Thong Dee was a former street elephant from Bangkok. Thong Dee is easy to distinguish due to the notch at the top of her right ear and she also has small tusks (called ‘tushes’ in Asian female elephants).

Tukta

Tukta is the first female Asian Elephant calf to be born at Taronga Zoo. She was born to Pak Boon after a gestation period of 658 days and weighed 120kg at birth.

Pak Boon

Pak Boon originally came from an elephant camp on the outskirts of Bangkok in Thailand. She is well respected by all the elephants and gave birth to her first calf named Tukta.

Pathi Harn

Pathi Harn was the second Asian elephant calf to be born at Taronga Zoo. He was conceived by our female matriarch Porntip to Melbourne Zoo’s bull elephant, Bong Su, through artificial insemination. He is a very happy calf who is always looking for attention, just like his mum Porntip.

Porntip

Porntip originally came from an elephant camp on the outskirts of Pattaya in southern Thailand. She is the matriarch of our group and the other elephants look to Porntip for leadership and guidance.

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