Bong Su The Elephant, Australia’s Largest Animal, Has Died Aged 40

Australia’s largest animal in captivity, Melbourne Zoo’s elephant Bong Su, has sadly passed away at the age of 40.

Announcing the news in a statement today, Zoos Victoria said the Asian Elephant bull, which had been with the zoo since 1977, was euthanised from issues stemming from its diagnosis of a degenerative joint disease:

Recently his condition had deteriorated to the point where he was given further pain relief treatment, including additional analgesic agents, increased dosage of his anti-inflammatory medication, massage, and laser therapy.

However, this combination of medication and other treatments could no longer keep him comfortable.

Bong Su first arrived at Melbourne Zoo in 1977 from an elephant camp in Malaysia, a gift from the Sultan of Pahang, and has sired five calves.

Staff of Melbourne Zoo have felt the loss hard, with counselling services being offered to those affected:

Mr. Tanner says that Bong Su has been such a familiar presence for so long, all Zoo staff will be experiencing a great sense of loss.

That especially applies to both the current Keepers at Trail of the Elephants and previous Elephant Keepers now working in other animal sections.

RIP Bong Su.