Perth Zoo elephants to show off enrichment toys for World Elephant Day keeper talks

Permai and Tricia with elephant keeper Steve Edmunds. Picture: Martin Kennealey

PERTH Zoo’s resident elephants Tricia, Permai and Putra Mas regularly receive enrichment items such as tire swings and food puzzles to support their physical and mental well being.

Nevertheless, a set of old street sweeper brushes donated by City of South Perth have become their new favourite.

Caring for the trio for about 17 years, senior elephant keeper Steve Edmunds said enrichment was provided to many animals at the zoo but was a particularly large part of his job.

“We are always looking for new items for the elephants, being so intelligent they require enrichment and it is a large part of our job to keep them busy and mental stimulated,” he said.

“The street sweeper brushes are use to hid food and play games but have the added advantage of being a satisfying item for them to rub against.

“Often we will see the elephants pushing the brushes onto their backs and wiggling around, giving themselves a good scratch.”

Mr Edmunds and his team will be running free elephant keeper talks as part of World Elephant Day on August 12.

Wild art and kid’s face painting will also be available for a gold coin donation, with funds used to support the protection of wild elephants.