Masthead image

E - is for Elephant


E - is for Elephant image

Q. How can you tell the difference between a grape and an elephant? A. Grapes are purple.

Q. What do you get when you cross a kangaroo with an elephant? A. Great big holes all over Australia.

Well, that’s enough of the dad jokes. Let’s talk about elephants. To get you started, see how many of these questions you can answer:

1) How much water can an elephant hold in its trunk? 2) How long is an elephant pregnant for? (Hint: your mum was pregnant with you for about nine months). 3) What does a baby elephant weigh when it’s born? (Hint: you probably weighed about 3.6kg).

Elephants are the world’s largest land animal, have great memories and are highly intelligent and experience feelings and emotions.

They live and travel in herds eating 130-270kg of plants each per day and can communicate to each other by a variety of sounds. They have great hearing and can communicate from 8km away.

Recently, Tricia, the oldest living elephant died at the Perth Zoo. She was the oldest elephant to be cared for by a zoo in Australasia, and one of the oldest elephants in the world. She arrived in Australia in 1963 and had become a much-loved resident and a favourite of visitors to the Zoo.

Many older visitors to the Zoo recall Tricia living in a concrete enclosure. Over the years, Tricia’s enclosure turned into one with a swimming pool, trees, a mud wallow, scratching poles, a heated barn, and sleeping mounds, with multiple keepers dedicated to her care.

At the Melbourne Zoo, the elephant exhibit is set in a lush Asian village and garden with an award-winning Trail of the Elephants where you learn about the endangered Asian Elephant as you explore its natural habitat. Free guided tours of the trail are available.

Three of Melbourne Zoo’s Asian Elephant herd are pregnant and are due to calve this year.

While the calves will be born at Melbourne Zoo, they will join the whole herd in moving to Werribee Open Range Zoo in 2024, following completion of an $87 million expansion funded by the Victorian Government. The new space at Werribee Open Range Zoo will provide the herd with a new state-of-the-art home and 21 hectares to roam.

(Did you hear that Kyabram Fauna Park will soon become a fourth site for Zoos Victoria? Kyabram’s Fauna Park covers 55 hectares - more than twice the size of Melbourne Zoo and has more than six hundred animals - the second largest collection of Australian animals in Victoria (after Healsville Sanctuary). . . and Kyabram Fauna Park is only just around the corner from us here, rurally speaking!

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