Awww, wook at de widdle baby...

Not including Kyle Sandilands. Melissa Doyle will present a special in a fortnight’s time featuring footage of an elephant birth right here in Australia. Extending the brand of The Zoo, this special (The Zoo – Australia’s Biggest Baby) will allow viewers to see never before captured footage of the last days of labour and birth of the Melbourne Zoo’s most recent addition, Ongard. It’s sure to offer tears, laughter & elephant-sized stretch marks. And heaps of crossed legs from mothers and fathers alike.

Welcoming a baby into the house is a specail time. There’s a lot of anxiety around “what will we do if it cries?” and “have we baby-proofed the house right?”. Elephants seem to have the right approach – pop it out, make it walk quick, then pseudo-accidentally knock it into the water in our enclousure to see if it survives. So far, so good. From the press release:

The special takes us on an emotional journey from the days before the September birth of baby Ongard at Melbourne Zoo through to the mother’s difficult and anxious three day labour. The incredible footage of Ongard’s birth is some of the best vision of an elephant birth ever filmed with mother Kulab delivering Ongard right in front of our cameras.

“It’s a baby boom! There is nothing cuter than the sight of a huge wobbly newborn elephant. And now Melbourne welcomes another one to the family,” Melissa Doyle said. “The footage we have captured of the birth of little Ongard is breathtaking – it will make you cry, cheer and marvel at Mother Nature.”

THE ZOO – AUSTRALIA’S BIGGEST BABY also features other recent elephant births at both Melbourne and Taronga Zoos including the first female baby elephant born in Sydney only last week. Featuring some of the most endearing and funny vision of baby elephants at play, it is a rare insight into their relationships, their methods of communication and their private world.

Ongard is the second elephant birth at Melbourne Zoo following his half sister Mali who was born in January and are the first two elephant births in the zoo’s 148 year history. Sydney’s Taronga Zoo now has two male baby elephants and a newborn female baby elephant following a relaxed and easy birth in early November.

Melissa adds, “It really is incredible that we have seen so many healthy elephant calves born in Australia of late. Aside from the joy they bring, we can’t lose sight of how important Australia’s breeding program is.”

 It’s important to note the success the breeding programs are having in our zoos globally, particularly here in Australia. Every effort made by the dedicated staff of these establishments can often mean a species which is in a dire threat of extinction can hold on and even prosper. The staff of all our zoos should be applauded for their work.


THE ZOO – AUSTRALIA’S BIGGEST BABY – 7:30pm Wed 24/11/10, Channel 7
Image sources: The Age; Sydney Morning Herald.