Bong Su's Big Birthday

4 August 2014

Asian Elephant Bull Bong Su is the largest animal in Australia.

He’s 3.9m tall and weighs 4,870 kg, and on Sunday he turned the big 4-0, celebrating with his Keepers and a fruit-topped banana cake.

Born in Malaysia, Bong Su came to Melbourne Zoo in 1977 as a three-year-old calf.

Female calf Mek Kapah arrived from Malaysia in 1978, and Bong Su and Mek Kapah lived together for many years, but without ever producing any calves.

Bong Su’s life changed dramatically when Trail of the Elephants opened in 2003 and he moved across the Zoo to the amazing new exhibit.

Another major change was in 2006, when three young females arrived from Thailand as part of the establishment of a regional conservation breeding program for their endangered species.

Thanks to advanced scientific technology, Bong Su has sired four calves at Melbourne Zoo and another at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.

Dokkoon has given birth to two of his calves here: Melbourne Zoo’s first-ever calf Mali in January 2000 and most recently the young male Man Jai, born in December 2013.

Bong Su now spends most of his time with his second calf, the male Ongard, born to Kulab almost four years ago.