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Elephant Packs His Trunks and Move to San Diego Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: April 25, 2021 1:40 am

Elephants Move at Reid Park Zoo

Sundzu the elephant enjoys a wallow in the mud at the Reid park Zoo

Photo Credit: Reid Park Zoo

An adolescent elephant known as Tsandizkle, or fondly called Sundzu has packed his trunk and moved from the Reid Park Zoo to the San Diego Zoo.

At the San Diego Zoo he has joined another male, Inhlonipho, a 9-year-old adolescent elephant known as Neepo. This new pair will be the beginnings of a bachelor herd of African elephants at the San Diego Zoo's Elephant Odyssey Habitat.

Elephants Move at Reid Park Zoo

Nipho and Sundzu the African elephants at the Reid Park Zoo

Photo Credit: Reid Park Zoo

“Sundzu is at the age where young male elephants move out of their family groups, independent from their mom, and seek opportunities to find new herds of their own. We have watched him gradually move away from his mom and become more independent,” said Dr. Sue Tygielski, Director of Zoological Operations at Reid Park Zoo.

In recent months he has been playfully wrestling with his father, Mabu and aunt, Lungile. As is typical for a male of his age Sundzu had become increasingly rough indicating he was ready to join a herd with other males.

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“Sundzu first came to Reid Park Zoo as a 1-year-old calf, and has grown up into a very playful adolescent elephant. We will miss him here at Reid Park Zoo, but are excited to see him grow up and have this opportunity to thrive as part of a new herd,” said Nancy Kluge, President & CEO of Reid Park Zoological Society.

Elephants Move at Reid Park Zoo

Sundzu the elephant enjoys a dust bath at the Reid park Zoo

Photo Credit: Reid Park Zoo

AZA zoos are using information from long-term studies of elephant herds to replicate the herd structure in human care. This means creating matriarchal and bachelor herds. In the wild males exhibit a fluid herd structure moving from living alone, to joining groups of males and accompanying the females during breeding.

This process of caring for elephants in a way that matches natural social behavior will help ensure ongoing health and wellbeing for the elephants involved.

Elephants Move at Reid Park Zoo

Mabu and Sundzu the African elephants at the Reid Park Zoo

Photo Credit: Reid Park Zoo

Learn more about African Elephants here – African Elephant Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Reid Park Zoo on their website – Reid Park Zoo

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