Mali milestone

17 January 2012

The first elephant calf ever born at Melbourne Zoo celebrated her second birthday by squashing her 2-shaped birthday cake and splashing around in the pool.

Trail of the Elephant Keepers modified a sturdy steel ball by inserting and blowing up a fitball, to make the ball into an elephant pool toy.

On such a warm day, a pool party was an ideal way to enjoy her birthday.

Mali has been making history since her birth. She is the first female elephant ever born in Australia, as well as Melbourne Zoo's first-ever elephant calf.

Zoo Director Kevin Tanner says that the Zoo waited almost 150 years for the first elephant birth: ‘Mali is already a much-loved Melbourne identity, and she is the inspiration for the logo marking the Zoo's 150th birthday this year.

‘Mali has also inspired a major public art installation beginning in mid-August, called ‘Mali in the City'.

The Director explained that the Zoo is calling for expressions of interest from artists interested in decorating 50 fibreglass Mali sculptures for display in key spots around Melbourne as part of the Zoo's 150th birthday celebrations.

He said ‘this concept has proved very popular overseas, and we believe that people will really enjoy seeing those sculptures around the city. We encourage artists who are interested to check the details on this website.

Mr. Tanner said that the birth of Mali, her year-old brother Ongard, and the pregnancy of Num-Oi are all significant steps forward in this regional endangered species conservation breeding program.