It was a happy day on May 26th when a male Asian elephant calf was born to mother Pak Boon after a 22 month gestation period at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. Zoo officials announced the calf’s birth was uneventful and that he began nursing right away. The calf’s birth marks the first successful birth at the zoo in almost 7 years and is the 4th at the Sydney facility in 10 years. Keepers noted that other members of the herd remained close to Pak Boon throughout her pregnancy. During the birth, Pak Boon’s herd mate Tang Mo and daughter Tukta were present for support, as were veterinarians and seasoned keepers.
Mom and baby will be given time to bond off exhibit before making their public debut and zoo officials will be announcing the calf’s name very soon. With less than 40,000 individuals left, Asian elephants continue to face pressure from poaching and habitat loss. Taronga Zoo is at the forefront of elephant conservation through their breeding program and support of conservation law officers and stations in Thailand and Sumatra. Many thanks to Taronga for their efforts and congratulations on this milestone birth!