Updated: Nov 15, 2021
Melbourne zoo is set to welcome three baby elephants next year,
I am so excited by this news.
My love of elephants started in 2010 when Mali was born.
On one of the first days that the public could view Mali I lined up at the Melbourne zoo to get my first glimpse of her.
From then my fascination and love of these amazing creatures continued. I have seen every baby elephant on one the the first days that they have been viewed by the public.
Mali is a star.
She was the first female elephant to be born in Australia.
She was so popular that in 2012 there were 50 life size sculptures created of her and painted by various artists.
The sculptures were placed all over the city.
A map was available to follow and find all the sculptures of Mali.
Now the announcement yesterday,
Mali is pregnant with her first calf.
Some of the interesting facts that I would love to share:
5 babies have been born at the Melbourne zoo.
Sanook, who died suddenly in 2013,
Willow, who passed away at only 6 weeks old.
All of these calves were fathered by Bong Su by artificial insemination.
Bong Su came to the zoo as a youngster in 1977.
He was orphaned from an elephant camp in Malaysia.
He lived at the zoo for 40 years until he passed away in 2017.
Mali is 11 and her mum Dokkoon is 28 are both now pregnant at the same time.
Num-oi who is 20 is also pregnant. I hope that everything goes well for Num-oi this time because unfortunately she has given birth to 2 calves and both of them have died very young.
In December 2020 Luk Chai arrived in Melbourne from Dubbo zoo.
Luk Chai is 12 years old and was the first male Asian elephant to be born at Taronga Zoo, Sydney.
He has settled in very well and has now fathered 3 of the female elephants at the Melbourne zoo naturally. The first time this has happened with the breeding program.
The 3 females are Mali, Dokkoon and Num-oi.
Mali and Luk Chai's calf will make history. The calf will be the first calf born in Australia with their parents also born in Australia.
This is so exciting for the breeding program.
Asian elephants are becoming endangered in the wild so the breeding program at Melbourne zoo has obviously been very successful and we are so lucky that we can enjoy these beautiful animals
In early 2024 the elephants will have a new home at the Werribee open range zoo. At the moment there is a $84 million expansion being developed to accommodate the growing elephant herd and should be finished for them to be moved by 2024.
The Asian elephant is classified as Endangered
by the international Union for the conservation of Nature.
Its population has declined by an estimated 50% over the past 75 years.