A mammoth announcement!

Planning has commenced to send Perth Zoo’s two Asian Elephants, Permai and Putra Mas, to their ‘forever home’ in South Australia in late 2024. 

Zoos SA today announced a fundraising campaign for the final funds needed to establish a new elephant habitat at Monarto Safari Park, where Permai and Putra Mas can become founding members of a new open-range herd. 

It is expected Auckland Zoo’s Asian Elephant Burma will also make the move to join Permai when the facilities are completed. 

The new habitat at Monarto Safari Park will be 15 hectares, giving the elephants more room to roam. In the future it could be home for up to five elephants. 

Permai and Putra Mas are expected to move in late 2024 with training programs already in progress. 

Perth Zoo Acting Executive Director Claire Wright said: “This is a mammoth day in history for Asian Elephants in the region, and a big milestone for Perth Zoo’s Permai and Putra Mas. 

“We know the WA community cares deeply about these elephants, and we are thrilled that Zoos SA is keen to create a third open-range herd. 

“While the staff at Perth Zoo provide exemplary love and care, we have always been open that the pair need to live in herd which requires more space than our inner-city site can provide. 

“Our animal experts have been meticulously exploring all options for both elephants. 

“Importantly, Monarto Safari Park is a fellow Zoo and Aquarium Association welfare-accredited zoo, and we are confident it will be a wonderful home for Permai and Putra Mas. 

“A social structure is absolutely critical for Permai’s well-being who has been without a mate since the passing of Tricia. 

“We look forward to seeing her potentially find a new friendship in Auckland Zoo’s Burma.”

Asian Elephants in the wild are endangered, with fewer than 52,000 remaining.

The establishment of this new herd in South Australia will increase the capacity of the regionally coordinated Asian Elephant program. 

Perth Zoo first announced its plan to rehome elephants Permai and Putra Mas in 2018. This was to occur following the passing of Tricia, to ensure the pair would have a home that can accommodate a suitable social herd structure.