Elephant Boy! Taronga Western Plains Zoo

It’s A Boy! Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Taronga is thrilled to announce the birth of the first Asian Elephant calf at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo. The male calf was born yesterday at 3.50pm to experienced mother Thong Dee.


This is a milestone achievement in the almost 40-year history of Taronga Western Plains Zoo and we couldn’t be happier. The calf was standing on its own within 30 minutes of being born and began suckling within hours. At this early stage, both mother and calf are doing well and veterinarians are happy with the calf’s progress. The successful birth is a tribute to the hard work of keepers and veterinary staff who have been planning for this for the past 22 months.

The calf was sired by Taronga’s bull, Gung, prior to Thong Dee moving to Dubbo. The calf is the second for Thong Dee, who gave birth to Australia’s first elephant calf, Luk Chai, in 2009.

Taronga has now welcomed four elephant calves across both Zoos since the breeding program commenced 10 years ago and Taronga Zoo Sydney is also eagerly anticipating an elephant calf in mid-2017. ANZ is a supporting partner of Taronga’s Asian Elephant breeding conservation program.

Every birth is important as it helps to secure a future for this endangered species. Taronga’s successful Asian Elephant conservation program includes funding wildlife protection units and ranger stations in Thailand and Sumatra and habitat protection.

Mother and calf will be given further time to bond behind the scenes before making their public debut at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo. We will soon be announcing a competition to help choose a name for the calf – so stay tuned!

Team Taronga

Press release courtesy Taronga Conservation Society of Australia