Revered in Hinduism and Buddhism, elephants have profoundly influenced the Asian way of life since their domestication 4,000 years ago. Featuring Burmese-style architecture, this one-hectare exhibit showcases these largest of living land animals and their associated history and culture.
What makes it unique?
Built on the banks of the serene Seletar Reservoir, this exhibit is home to our herd of five female elephants. Nestled in this quiet nook of the Zoo, you can enjoy panoramic views of the reservoir while watching our elephants at play.
Play is not only fun but helps our elephants develop skill and strength. Enrichment devices like play logs and rubber balls challenge our elephants physically and stimulate them mentally. Gambir especially enjoys a round with a rubber ball.
Look out also for ‘snack boxes’ hung up high in the trees in the exhibit. They are filled with pellets or treats like bananas, apples and carrots, so you’d also see a fleshy trunk or two trying to fish the treats out from small holes.
Water and mud spas
The trunk also works as a hose. Even between shows, you’d find the elephants playfully showering each other or just taking a dip at the bathing pool. As elephants do not have sweat glands, they relish frolics in the water as one way to prevent overheating
Wallowing in mud also provides a welcome respite from the sun. Caking themselves in earth protects their skin from sunburn and insect bites. Jati loves dusting herself with sand, which has the same functions as mud.
Besides providing food and taking care of their charges’ physical and mental health, the keepers also double up as ‘beauty consultants’. Foot care is an important part of our elephants’ ‘beauty’ regime. The keepers perform a complete pedicure for their charges when their toenails start getting long or when dead skin starts to accumulate.
Getting to know our Elephants
All our elephants at the Zoo are females. Our current matriarch is Komali. She is our only Sri Lankan elephant (you can tell by the pink spots on her trunk and ears),. The matriarch-in-training, Jati, has an even temperament and oversees any disputes within the herd. Gambir is our playful artist-in-residence. Intan and Aprila represent the critically endangered Sumatran elephants. They are are the same age and half-sisters. They have the same father but different mothers.
Komali (The Matriarch)
Rules over her herd with an ‘iron’ trunk, keeping the younger elephants in their place. Very protective of those who’ve earned her trust — elephants and humans alike.
Jati (BFF of the Matriarch)
Komali’s loyal sidekick, friend and protector. The bond between them is so strong that even if Komali moves a short distance away, Jati will start calling for her.
Gambir (Pampered and Pampering)
Orphaned at the age of two, Gambir was cared for by Anusha, late matriarch of the herd. In the same way, Gambir now dotes on Aprila, as she would her own daughter.
Intan (The feisty 'chilli padi')
Lone ranger, does not belong to any of the cliques in the herd. Stands her ground, even with Komali. Has a special soft spot for Aprila, her younger half-sister.
Aprila (Always gets her way)
Intan's unofficial boss/alpha sibling. Also has the backing of self-appointed mother figure, Gambir. Has a voracious appetite — ‘vacuums’ all leftovers.
Elephants Of Asia
9:30am, 11:45am & 4:30pm
Grab a basket of our elephants’ favourite treats and come face-to-trunk with our herd. Marvel as these gentle giants stretch their trunks out to take the treat from your hand.