What’s new at the zoo?

JUST before Christmas, Australia Zoo’s four female Sumatran elephants Wati, Widya, Christine and Raflesia were welcomed into their new Elephantasia habitat.

Two years after joining the zoo family in Beerwah the only Sumatran elephants on display in Australia can be seen from 10am-4pm each day.

A fifth elephant Burma will join the herd later this year, making the move from Auckland Zoo in New Zealand to her new home in Australia.

Sumatran elephants are found exclusively in the low-lying forest and gentle hills of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Solely herbivores, the Sumatran elephants’ dexterous trunk and large molars enable them to gather and process 5-10 percent of their body weight in vegetation per day, including grasses, leaves, fruit and bark.

Elephants do not drink with their trunks but use them as tools to drink with. Consuming up to 200 litres of water each day, a Sumatran elephant will fill its trunk with water and then pour the water into its mouth.