Zoo’s Thai elephants blessed by Buddhist monks
BUDDHIST monks have blessed Melbourne Zoo’s Thai elephants to mark the national elephant festival in their native country.
Monks chanted and sprinkled water over the three adult females and two calves during the blessing ceremony , which also marks eight years since the Trail of Elephants opened at Melbourne Zoo . Thai Honorary Consul General Simon Wallace said the ceremony took on extra significance given the Buddhist belief in reincarnation.
‘‘ Depending upon on how you’ve behaved in this life you come back, so you could be blessing your great uncle as an elephant,’’ he said.
‘‘ The Buddhist belief is very much in respecting all forms of life, not only are children baptised and blessed, but elephants, animals are similarly blessed.’’
Three female elephants, Dokkoon, Kulab and NumOi arrived at the zoo in 2006. Artificial insemination allowed Dokkoon and Kulab to give birth last year and Num-Oi will be impregnated next month.
CELEBRATION: A Thai dancer helps commemorate the 8th anniversary of the opening of the trail of elephants