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Taronga Zoo is celebrating the birth of a healthy Asian Elephant calf, the first born in Sydney in nearly seven years.

The male calf was born at 1.35am on Friday 26th May 2017 after a pregnancy that lasted approximately 22 months. Labour was short and without problems, with the calf standing on its feet five minutes after birth and began suckling just before 3am.

Keepers and vets were on hand for the birth of the calf, supporting Pak Boon throughout the quick 35-minute labour. She delivered naturally without any assistance from the team.

“Everything went very smoothly with the birthing process and the calf has spent its first day bonding with mum in the elephant barn. Pak Boon is doing a tremendous job and the successful birth is a tribute to the hard work of our keepers and veterinary staff,” said Taronga CEO, Cameron Kerr.

 Sired by the Zoo’s bull elephant, Gung, the calf is the second for Pak Boon, who gave birth to a female calf named Tukta in November 2010.

This precious calf and the other Asian Elephants at Taronga play a vital role as ambassadors for their wild counterparts. The surviving population of Asian Elephants is estimated to be between 30,000–50,000 individuals, with numbers continuing to decline due to habitat loss and poaching. 

Taronga is working hard to secure a future for Asian Elephants and has had a Breeding Program in place for more than 10 years thanks to the partnership with ANZ Australia who support our conservation efforts. Commencing the partnership in 2006, the breeding program has seen the successful births of five elephants across both Sydney and Dubbo, including the newest arrival here at Taronga Zoo Sydney.

Pak Boon and her calf will be given time to bond behind-the-scenes before making their public debut. Taronga will soon be announcing a name for the calf that reflects the herd’s Thai cultural origin.

Principal Sponsor of Taronga’s Asian Elephant Breeding program: