The Royal Melbourne Zoo’s Asian elephants are assisting the Brumby Government encourage more families to get more active and healthier together and last Tuesday signed up for the Premier’s Active Families Challenge to showcase their high levels of physical activity.

Sport and Recreation Minister James Merlino joined the zoo’s elephants – Mek Kapah, Bong Su, Dokkoon, Kulab and Num-oi – for a family exercise workout at the Zoo.

“More than 5000 Victorian families have already registered for the challenge that urges families to try 30 minutes of physical activity a day for 30 days from March 8 to April 19,” Mr Merlino said.

“And the latest family to take up the challenge will be Melbourne’s very own family of five elephants that are living proof that regular physical activity can make you healthier and happier.

Melbourne Zoo General Curator Dan Maloney said families taking up the challenge would do well to follow the example of the Zoo’s elephant family’s healthy diet and exercise regime.

“Each elephant has a special diet and exercise program designed to use every muscle in their body through climbing, jogging, strength training, and stretching, while aerobic exercises also maintain cardiovascular health,” Mr Maloney said.

“Our elephants walk many kilometres each day and meet the required level of activity for their species, based on research data relating to wild elephant herds.”

Mr Merlino said that by making time in the day for a little extra physical activity, can go a long way to improving your health and fitness and way to spend more time with your family.

“The Premier’s Active Families Challenge is fun, free and a great way to develop a lifetime of healthy habits, which can play a key role in turning the tide against the looming epidemic of diabetes and obesity,” Mr Merlino said.

Registered families will receive a free 15-visit family pass to attend YMCA Centres across Victoria and a 15 per cent discount at Rebel Sport stores.

Families also have the chance to win some prizes including sports equipment for their primary school, YMCA family memberships, Rebel Sport vouchers and tickets to Melbourne Zoo and other .

“As a special Premier’s Active Families Challenge feature you will be able to see how the elephants keep active by visiting the Zoos Victoria website at,” Mr Merlino added.

Families can register for the Premier’s Active Families Challenge online at or contact the Go for your life infoline on 1300 739 899