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Elephant aged care program

Caring for Ageing Elephants

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.

Elephant Training Techniques

Elephants are highly intelligent animals and they learn new things very quickly. At Taronga and Taronga Western Plains Zoos we train the elephants for their own physical and mental well-being.


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).