Three New Elephants at NC Zoo
by Mark MacAllister
October 30, 2007
Three more African elephants have arrived at the North Carolina Zoo over the past few days, bringing that zoo's elephant collection to seven animals—the largest in its history.
Artie, a 24-year-old male, arrived Friday, October 26 while Tonga, a 29-year-old female, and her five-year-old female calf, Batir, were delivered Sunday the 28th. All three traveled to Asheboro via truck from Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary Greenbrier, Arkansas.
The future of elephants worldwide depends on organizations collaborating and sharing accomplishments and resources. Both the N.C. Zoo and Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary share common goals regarding the long-term preservation of elephants. To further these goals, this small family group was sent to the North Carolina from the Arkansas facility.
The three new elephants will join Samantha, a 19-year-old female that arrived in September from Canada's Valley Zoo, and the zoo's long-time resident elephants, male C'sar (age 33) and females Diamond (29) and Rafiki (25) to form one of the largest African elephant collections in American zoos.
Artie, Tonga and Batir were placed in a new $2.5-million-dollar elephant holding barn constructed as part of the "Watani Grasslands Reserve," an $8.5-million-dollar renovation and expansion of the N.C. Zoo's elephant and rhinoceros facilities. Following a mandatory 30-day quarantine required of all new animals arriving at the zoo, the three new elephants will be gradually introduced to the rest of the elephant collection, a process that could take several months.
About the author:
Mark MacAllister is the Project Coordinator for Field
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