Like any youngster, nothing puts a grin on the face of Taronga Zoo’s new baby elephant Jai Dee (above) quite like splashing around in a pool.
LIKE any youngster, nothing puts a grin on the face of Taronga Zoo’s new baby elephant Jai Dee quite like splashing around in the pool.
The 13-week-old spends his days hanging out with mum Pak Boon, seven-year-old sis- ter Tutka and aunt Tang Mo, exploring the enclosure and mucking around in the water.
“His favourite thing to do is swim and you can tell he has a great time playing in the water,” the zoo’s unit supervisor Gabriel Virgona said.
“He is exploring new things, everything is amazing to him. He puts on a great show. He has lots of energy and likes to play,” he said.
Jai Dee – which means “good heart” in Thai – is his mother’s second calf and the fifth to come from Taronga Zoo’s breeding program, which began just over a decade ago.
“He spends most of his time hanging out with the older females. They all take turns in looking after him,” Mr Virgona said.
“He’s a handful, he loves to jump in between them all,” he said.
Mr Virgona said Jai De was getting most of his nourishment from his mum’s milk, but had started to explore solid food.
And while he doesn’t mind bath time – a vital part of Jai Dee’s day to clean him and check him – Mr Virgona said Jai Dee was always keen to get out and get dirty again.
“Playing in mud is also a big highlight to his day, he likes his mud,” he said.
WET N’ WILD: Taronga Zoo’s baby elephant Jai Dee explores his surrounds while splashing around in the pool yesterday. Picture: TOBY ZERNA