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America’s Oldest Bull Elephant Enjoys 55th Birthday Party

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: June 9, 2021 4:50 pm

Elephant Birthday Party Zoo Miami

Dalip enjoys his birthday cake prepared by keepers to celebrate his 55th birthday

Photo Credit: Ron Magill/ Zoo Miami

Dalip, America’s oldest bull elephant has celebrated his 55th birthday at Zoo Miami in the United States. To celebrate he enjoyed a range of special enrichment items prepared by keepers.

The main attraction was a massive, multi-layered popsicle which was made from gatorade, fruits, flowers and vegetables. He also received a sheet cake formed from flour and carrots.

Elephant Birthday Party Zoo Miami

Dalip play with a large ball which is provided for enrichment as part of his birthday celebrations

Photo Credit: Ron Magill/ Zoo Miami

Dalip means “King” in Hindi and was born on June 8th 1966 at the the Trivandrum Zoo in Kerala, India and was brought to the United States as a gift to the Crandon Park Zoo by benefactor Ralph Scott.

On his arrival he stood 1.2m (4ft) tall with a weight of 318kg (700lbs). Now he has grown to be one of the largest Asian elephants in the united states standing 3m (10ft) tall with a weight of over 4536kg (10,000lbs).

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At 55 years old Dalip is currently the oldest male Asian elephant in North America. He is one of the few remaining animals which called Zoo Miami home when it opened in 1980. During this time he has only left for a 3 year holiday during the devastation of Hurricane Andrew while the zoo was rebuilt.

He has a son named Spike born in 1980 who now lives at the National Zoo in Washington DC and is currently serving as a mentor for Ongard, a 10 year old Asian elephant bull who came to Miami from Australia in 2018.

Elephant Birthday Party Zoo Miami

Dalip the Asian elephant with his birthday cake made from ice.

Photo Credit: Ron Magill/ Zoo Miami

Asian elephants are under threat in the wild with less than 50,000 remaining. Small herds are found across 13 countries in Asia where they are threatened by habitat fragmentation, poaching for ivory and conflict with farmers.

In the wild they live in herds led by an older female while males live in small bachelor herds and become solitary as they grow.

Elephant Birthday Party Zoo Miami

Dalip the Asian elephant looks over his birthday cake prepared by keepers to celebrate his 55th birthday making him America’s oldest male elephant.

Photo Credit: Ron Magill/ Zoo Miami

Learn more about Asian elephants here – Asian elephant Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about Zoo Miami on their website – Zoo Miami

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