Zoo’s Thai ele­phants blessed by Bud­dhist monks

Townsville Bulletin - - National Snapshot -

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

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