It’s a sad tale with a happy ending.


Melbourne Zoo’s latest addition






It’s a sad tale with a happy ending.

Here at Mamamia we love a newborn – and we love having a reason to be happy.

So this story was worth sharing for its simple elements of love, joy and happiness.

Which – at Christmas is something we all need more of.

Last Wednesday morning staff at Melbourne Zoo were shocked to find eleven-month old baby elephant Sanook dead in his pen.

CCTV footage showed he was playing with a tyre – his favourite toy – when he became stuck around 7pm on Tuesday.

A post mortem confirmed the baby elephant had become caught and died from the pressure on his neck. The tyre swing was one of Sanook’s favourite toys and was also popular with his siblings Mali and Ongard.

These types of toys are used throughout the world ‘as an approved form of enrichment for elephants’, the zoo said.

The staff were devastated.

“This is a tragic accident that has left our keepers, vets and staff community devastated. To our knowledge no such accident has taken place previously in any zoo with elephants,” The Zoo’s director Kevin Tanner said.

Sanook died tragically last week

It was a dark day for the zoo.

So things seemed a little brighter over the weekend when there was some good news to report.

“He’s hairy and he’s dark but he’s terrific.”

Early Sunday morning Asian elephant Dokkoon gave birth to her second calf – 131kg boisterous baby boy!


After 22 months of pregnancy – and being weeks overdue – she went into labour just after midnight and gave birth at 2.40am.

The bright-eyed calf who is the fourth Asian elephant to be born at the zoo was slightly wobbly on his feet but stood within minutes with the help of keepers who supported him in a harness.

Zookeepers said he was running around within 15 minutes.

He suckled for the first time shortly after 7am with zoo staff saying he took to it enthusiastically.

The calf is a baby brother for Mali, the zoo’s first-ever elephant calf who was born in 2010 – and a half brother to Sanook who died in the tyre swing accident.

Dokkoon is the first elephant in Australia to give birth for the second time.

Any ideas for a good newborn name?

Zoo director Kevin Tanner told the Herald Sun that the past week’s events are unprecedented in the zoo’s history.

“The shock and distress of the loss of calf Sanook, followed by the relief and delight at this birth have meant a roller-coaster of emotions for all of us, and especially the elephant keepers,” he said.

“They have conducted themselves with the utmost dedication and professionalism throughout this momentous week.”

Mr Tanner said Dokkoon and her hairy brown bundle will remain in a secure barn to bond before being introduced to the herd.

“She went through a strong labour but she is fine and seems to be recovering well,” he said.

He said it is hoped the calf will be on public display in “the next day or two”.

No name as yet – but they are taking suggestions from the public. The top contenders so far seem to ‘Nelson’ and ‘Mandela’.