Taronga Western Plains Zoo were thrilled to welcome the birth of a female Asian Elephant calf in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Dubbo Taronga Zoo director Steve Hinks said “the birth of a female calf is something that we are absolutely delighted with”, given the endangered status of Asian elephants in the wild.
The calf creates a new genetic blood line for the Australasian region’s Asian Elephant population, which was an important achievement for the regional conservation effort.
The breeding program between Sydney and Dubbo Taronga zoos has delivered six births over the last 12 years.
“Mother and calf are doing well and veterinarians are happy with the calf’s progress at this early stage,” Taronga director and CEO Cameron Kerr said.
Second-time mother, “Porntip is doing a wonderful job and the keepers and veterinary staff are to be commended for their dedication and hard work, ensuring such a successful outcome,” Mr Hinks said.
Before the calf is publicly debuted, it will be building strength and bonding with “the family unit for now, and learning how to deal with a big boisterous cousin like Sabai” said elephant keeper Bradd Johnston.
The zoo will announce a competition to help choose the name for the calf soon.