Amongst glimpses of grief, Permai continues to be her cheeky self. 

It’s been six weeks since we said goodbye to our beloved matriarch, Tricia the Asian Elephant. 

We know many of you care deeply about our two remaining elephants Permai and Putra Mas, so we would like to provide an update on how they are going. 

Just like humans, elephants need time and extra support to grieve through loss, and Permai has been no exception to this. 

Our dedicated elephant keepers have been pouring plenty of love and care into Permai to help guide her through the loss of Tricia, and we’re happy to say this extra support has gone a long way. 

Perth Zoo elephant keeper, Ed Brown, said: “For an animal who has lost her best friend, Permai is doing pretty well right now. 

“She has moments where she’s been a little bit cheeky, so us keepers have had a little extra patience with her. 

“When she’s missing her best mate, we see her seeking out extra attention, so we are spending a lot more time with her for company.”

Permai’s human friends have been dedicating extra time to her with favourite activities like playing soccer, doing exercise, giving her a scrub bath, and taking her for a swim.  

And while these enrichment activities are providing her with comfort and keeping her motivated and stimulated, grief is not something that disappears overnight, and Permai is continuing to self soothe. 

Elephant keeper, Jody Polson, said: “If you’ve visited recently, you may have noticed an increase in Permai’s swaying behaviour, this is all linked in with her grieving for Tricia. 

“We’re doing all we can to support her and minimise this and give her as much attention and company as she needs.  

“It’s been incredible to see the level of growth in her emotional maturity through this, she was very calm during Tricia’s passing and, in the weeks immediately following.”

As male elephants are a solitary, keepers say Putra Mas is aware that Tricia is no longer with us, but he remains very independent. 

As you know, when the time is right our two elephants will move to new forever homes to align with what’s best for them socially and environmentally. 

But for right now, our elephant team  continues to focus their efforts on supporting the pair through this transitional period.  

Thank you to everyone in the community who has shown us incredible support during this time, Permai, Putra Mas and the Perth Zoo family appreciate it.