A male calf has been born at Taronga Zoo on Friday Morning, after a 22-month-long pregnancy. Mother elephant, Pak Boon had a short labour with no complications. The calf was standing just five minutes after birth and suckling a few hours later.
"This is fantastic news for the Australasian breeding program for Asian Elephants, as every birth helps secure a future for this endangered species, I’m delighted to report that mother and calf are in good health, weighing 130 kg, and Taronga’s veterinarians are pleased with the calf’s progress at this early stage.” said Cameron Kerr, Taronga CEO and Chair of the Zoo and Aquarium Association’s Elephant Committee.
Image: Taronga Zoo
Mother Pak Boon, gave birth successfully and naturally without any assistance from the keepers and vets on hand.
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
This is Taronga’s fifth elephant birth since the beginning of their breeding program 10 years ago.
Image: Taronga Zoo
This precious calf and the other Asian Elephants at Taronga play a vital role as ambassadors for their wild counterparts. They help educate visitors about the decline of wild populations due to habitat destruction and conflict with humans, said Mr Kerr.
There are only 30,000- 50,000 Asian elephants left in the wild and their numbers continue to dwindle due to habitat loss and poaching. Taronga works with governments, conservationists and protection units in Asia to protect the species from poaching.
It’s an exciting time to see Pak Boon and the keeper’s hard work rewarded. It’s very special to have the new addition to the herd, who is also a cute ambassador to raise the plight of elephants, said Elephant Supervisor Gabe Virgona.
The young calf will not be making its public appearance till the calf has had adequate bonding time with mother. The name of the calf has not yet been released but will reflect the elephant's Thai origins.
Header: elephant calf image provided by Taronga Zoo