Perth Zoo’s elderly Asian Elephant, Tricia, turned 64-years-old today.

The much-loved matriarch celebrated her birthday with a jumbo cake made by her Zookeepers.

Zoo staff, volunteers and visitors gathered on the main lawn to see Tricia enjoying her cake made from frozen bran and fruit.
Senior Elephant Keeper, Kirsty Carey, said: “Tricia is a Perth icon and loved by the community, so we are not surprised by the attention she receives on her birthday.”
 “At 64-years-old Tricia is one of the oldest animals at Perth Zoo, but sadly, she will not live forever. This makes every birthday extra special.”
“We know that she is in her twilight years, so we are grateful for every day we get to care for her and love celebrating this amazing animal with the Perth community.”
Asian elephants have six sets of teeth in their lifetime and Tricia is on her final set. Her health and welfare are the top priority for her six dedicated zookeepers who work hard to ensure she is kept comfortable in her elderly years.
Tricia has slowed down over the last 12 months and has had some skin issues as her ‘old lady skin’ has become more fragile.
“To help alleviate age related niggles she regularly receives deep tissue massages with an equine massage therapy pad, and we oil and moisturise her skin,” said Kirsty. “We also have humidifiers in her barn to keep her skin moist at night – it’s like an elephant spa experience.”
“In the colder weather we have a specially designed blanket to keep her toasty warm on her slow walks around the Zoo.”  
“Everything we do is in Tricia’s best interest and to ensure she has a quality life,” Kirsty said.
“Having cared for Tricia for more than 15 years, it is my absolute privilege to look after her during her final years.”
“She is an amazing animal that has had a unique impact on the people of Perth,” said Kirsty.

Fact File:

  • Tricia arrived at Perth Zoo in January 1963 from Ho Chi Minh City via Singapore.
  • She was named after Tricia Reschke, Miss Australia 1962;
  • There are only two other Asian Elephants in Australasia in their sixties, ‘Burma’ at Western Plains Zoo and ‘Saigon’ at Sydney Zoo; 
  • In 2020 Tricia was honoured with a Transperth ferry named after her, the MV Tricia;
  • Asian Elephants are endangered with as few as 34,000 individuals remaining due to habitat loss and poaching;
  • Funds raised from Perth Zoo’s elephant artwork and experiences help protect valuable habitat for critically endangered Sumatran Elephants in the wild