Home is where the herd is.
Our friends at Monarto Safari Park
in South Australia have announced they're building a new elephant habitat. And Permai and Putra Mas will be its founding herd members!
You might remember, in 2018 we first announced our two elephants would be rehomed following the passing of matriarch Tricia.
That's because our female Permai needs to be living with other female elephants. While our keepers provide exemplary love and care, our South Perth site can't accommodate a functioning herd with multiple individuals.
The new habitat at Monarto Safari Park will be 14 hectares, giving the elephants more room to roam. In the medium future, Monarto Safari Park could become home to up to five elephants!
It is expected Permai and Putra Mas will be joined by Auckland Zoo's elephant, Burma, who will also make the move once the facilities are complete.
We are thrilled Monarto Safari Park is keen to create this new Asian Elephant herd and make this jumbo-sized dream come true.
We love our elephants and that’s why we’re putting their needs first.
Elephants have social structure needs that Permai has been missing since her best friend Tricia passed away.
We know the WA community cares about Permai and Putra Mas as much as we do. While we will miss them, we know this is best for their welfare.
Our animal experts have been meticulously searching for a place that can provide opportunity for the proper herd structure needed and plenty of room to roam.
Moving elephants is a mammoth operation and it won’t happen overnight, so you still have plenty of time to visit your elephant friends!
Creating a new herd in South Australia supports the long-term sustainability of the regional elephant conservation program.
It will enable more people to experience elephants and learn about them, to support the vital work we do to protect the species and ensure they remain for future generations.
Tiny steps lead to a jumbo journey
Moving elephants is a mammoth task!
That’s why our animal carers are taking tiny steps every day to help prepare Permai and Putra Mas for their jumbo journey.
Ahead of any travel, it’s important to get an animal used to their transport crate so they view it as their own safe zone!
Our expert elephant carers do daily crate training with both Permai and Putra Mas.
The training involves the elephants being offered the choice to walk into the crate, and while inside, they are offered plenty of delicious foods and words of encouragement to ensure it’s a positive experience.
What’s the first thing you do when you hop in the car? Fasten your seatbelt, of course!
Our elephants need this same safety measure for their trip to neighbouring South Australia.
Thanks to the incredible trust with her keepers, Permai voluntarily lifts her legs to allow her safety restraints to be clipped on.
Perth Zoo Senior Elephant Keeper Kirsty Carey said: “The restraints are nice and strong to support her heavy frame, but we’ve covered them in a protective material, so they don’t cause her discomfort.
“Through our positive training programs, Permai lifts each foot so we can clip them in before she goes over to the crate.
“Permai is known for being quite cheeky, she’s certainly not afraid to tell us if she doesn’t want to do something!
“That’s why we’re very pleased to see that she does choose to have her ‘seatbelts’ put on. That tells us she isn’t afraid and sees it as a positive experience.”
Once clipped in, she walks through her habitat and around to the transport crate.
There one keeper instructs her and another feeds her all her favourite foods – sweet apples, tasty pear and more!
Once the training is over, the keepers leave the crate open in case there’s any further curiosity as the elephants have been known to go back in on their own to investigate further.
Then, they are given a jumbo reward for being so brave and clever!