Monday, March 1, 2010

Australian Baby Elephant Blessed By Buddhist Monk

On 24th February 2010, the newest star of the Melbourne Zoo, a six weeks old baby elephant named Mali was blessed by Buddhist monks. In the ceremony, three Thai monks splashed water on her face. As the Thai monks hummed and chanted, Mali ran circles around her mother, Dokkoon, who was brought to the from Thailand in November 2006.

Mali's name was chosen last week by 23,000 Victoria state voters from a list of several suggested by the Thai consulate. Mali is Thai for jasmine.
Elephants are a hallowed national symbol in Thailand, having been long linked with good luck.
"It's a beautiful name for a beautiful calf," said zoo keeper Dan Maloney. "She's growing very quickly, getting more coordinated every day and certainly exploring her world and getting to know her surroundings."
Mali already weighs 330 pounds (150 kilograms) and is gaining almost two pounds (1 kilogram) per day.
Having bonded with her mom, she is gradually being introduced to other females in the herd. Maloney said he hopes she will be integrated with the four other elephants in the next few months.