Sydney Zoo is delighted to welcome two bull elephants Kavi and Ashoka to their brand-new world-class facility.
Kavi and Ashoka, both just over six years old, arrive in Australia following an expert recommendation by the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) and will make an important contribution to the Asian Elephant breeding program in Australasia led by the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA).
The move to the NEW Sydney Zoo was important as the bull’s genes are already well represented in European breeding programs and with limited housing options available for bull elephants globally, the opportunity to move the pair to a brand-new, purpose-built facility was the best outcome for the elephant’s welfare.
The pair travelled from Europe and were joined by a dedicated team who ensured the bulls were closely monitored and cared for throughout the journey.
Kavi has a calm and steady nature, much like his father Upali, while Ashoka, who is a month younger than Kavi, is confident, playful, and a very quick learner.
The bulls have joined the NEW Sydney Zoo’s resident female Asian Elephant Saigon, who immediately showed great interest in the newcomers.
Elephants are a social species and thrive from close relationships they have with one another. Before arriving to Sydney Zoo, Saigon had lived alone for over a decade, so it was important for Sydney Zoo to reunite her with her own species and give her the opportunity to form a new social group and become a matriarch.
Sydney Zoo offers a state-of-the-art, purpose-built elephant habitat which promotes high level welfare standards, and complex and interesting environment which includes a pool, sand mounds, mud wallows, access to indoors during extreme weather.
Asian Elephants can be found across South East Asia, and there are fewer than 50,000 remaining in the wild with their population rapidly decreasing.
Moves across the globe like this are needed to maintain global genetic diversity and introduce new genes into the region to create an insurance population for this endangered species.
This is a proud moment for Sydney Zoo as it takes part in important global breeding programs and conservation of Asian Elephants.
Guests are invited to watch Kavi and Ashoka as they explore their new habitat at the NEW Sydney Zoo in Western Sydney.