African Elephant
African Elephant
Plains
ABout African Elephant

HUMONGOUS, INTELLIGENT AND MAJESTIC! ELEPHANTS ARE ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST RECOGNIZABLE ANIMALS SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THEIR SIZE AND THEIR LONG, BEAUTIFUL AND USEFUL TRUNKS.

Female elephants live in herds with their calves while male elephants tend to roam on their own or in a bachelor herd. Elephants have the longest gestation period of all mammals — 22 months. The Indianapolis Zoo is well-known throughout the world for its cutting-edge elephant reproduction research. The first and second African elephants in the world to be conceived and successfully born through artificial insemination were at the Zoo.

Plains Stamp
FACTS & STATISTICS
average size
13 feet tall,
14,000 lbs
Native region
Africa
eating habits
Grass, roots,
fruit & hay
CONSER VAT ION
Conservation Status
Threatened
Distinguishing characteristics

Kubwa has smaller and rounder than the other adults; short, even tusks. She is intelligent, athletic, playful, vocal and a quick learner in the elephant yard.

Fun Facts

Ivory has been at the Indianapolis Zoo since 1984. On Aug. 4, 2000, Ivory became the second African elephant in the world to give birth to a calf conceived by artificial insemination. That calf was named Ajani. Since then, she has conceived and given birth by artificial insemination two more times (Zahara in 2006 and Nyah in 2012).

Personality Traits

Kalina is lively, excited, and loves to meet new people.

Fun Facts

Kalina loves to splash and play in the water. She is younger sister to Kedar. Her birth received national media attention. Watch this adorable video captured by CBS News.

Personality Traits

Gets along with his "aunties" and sister, Kalina. He is very easygoing.

Fun Facts

Kedar was named in a contest with the Zoo, the Indianapolis Star and WTHR-TV. He has a sister named Kalina who is also here at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Personality Traits

First African Elephant to ever become pregnant and give birth from artificial insemination.

Fun Facts

Her first calf was a female named Amali born in 2000. Since then, she has successfully given birth to two more elephant calves (Kedar in 2005 and Kalina in 2011) through artificial insemination. Kubwa has been at the Indianapolis Zoo since 1978.

Personality Traits

Nyah is very curious; she loves sticking close to her big sister, Zahara, and learning what it means to be an elephant. Distinguishing characteristics: Smallest elephant in the herd.

Fun Facts

Nyah is the youngest member of the elephant herd and is Ivory's third calf. Her name means “purpose” in Swahili.

Personality Traits

Sophi is the largest member and leader of the herd. She can be dramatic and playful at times; majestic.

Fun Facts

Sophi is the matriarch of our elephant herd. She is the biggest and one of the oldest animals we have at our Zoo.

Personality Traits

Tombi has a slender body with a square and narrow head; her even tusks curve inward. Less social than other members of the herd; she is a very calm and stable elephant for her keepers to work with.

Fun Facts

Tombi is not blood related to any elephant in the herd, but she acts as an aunt to many of our elephant calves. Guests often get the chance to meet Tombi up close during behind-the-scenes demonstrations, like animal art adventures.

Personality Traits

Zahara is active and alert.

Fun Facts

Ivory became the second African elephant in history to successfully conceive and give birth via artificial insemination when Zahara was born. Zahara was named in a contest with the Zoo, the Indianapolis Star and WTHR-TV.

Where are they at the Zoo?
The African Elephants are located in the Plains Exhibit.
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Come see for yourself.

Look no further. Connect with our amazing animals and learn about the wild places they come from.

Elephant Conservation
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International Elephant Foundation
THE INTERNATIONAL ELEPHANT FOUNDATION (IEF) IS COMPOSED OF ASSOCIATIONS OF ZOOS, AQUARIUMS AND OTHER ELEPHANT FACILITIES whose resident elephants are wildlife ambassadors helping to educate the public and raise valuable support dollars for elephant conservation.

Dr. Rob Shumaker, Indianapolis Zoo President, serves on the IEF board of directors. In 2011, the IEF provided a total of $230,000 in support for elephant conservation.

Projects related to African elephant conservation include programs that combat poaching and protect wild populations throughout Africa, dissemination of research results utilized by conservation policy decision makers and education programming for various audiences including those who live in elephant range countries. Another valuable program funded by IEF is the “My Elephant Neighbor” program in West Africa. Through this program, thousands of children and their teachers have been able to learn about local elephants. Not all African families are aware of elephant conservation needs, and this program utilizes the powerful voice of children to carry that message home to their parents.

TARANGIRE ELEPHANT PROJECT
For Dr. Charles Foley, Director of the Tarangire Elephant Project, few countries in the world can match Tanzania for its diversity of wildlife. That's a key reason he and his wife, Lara, manager of the Project, have spent the last 25 years living and conducting research in the Tarangire ecosystem.

Since 2007, the Indianapolis Zoo has provided annual support for the Tarangire Elephant Project and the Foleys’ efforts
to conserve elephants and their habitat. Charles, Lara and their two young daughters follow the lives of more than
1,000 elephants within 32 family groups.

One of the Tarangire Elephant Project’s major purposes is to protect migration corridors and dispersal areas — areas
outside the national park where elephants move seasonally. These protected grasslands are a critical food source
for wildlife as well as for the local community’s livestock. Free access to these areas for all of the species
in the national park is essential for their continued conservation.

Despite poaching in other parts of Africa, Charles said the Tarangire elephants continue to thrive, with the local
population estimated at about 4,200.

In 2016, funds also supported the start of a new program — the Ruaha Katavi Corridor expansion.

With attention given to the vast areas of woodland stretching between Ruaha National Park and Katavi National Park,
the Foleys help ensure those populations are protected from both the pressures of poaching and habitat loss. With
the parks more than 130 miles apart, focused efforts influence what may be not only the longest elephant corridor
in East Africa, but one of the longest migration paths in the world.

All Conservation Efforts
Additional Experiences
White River Junction Train Ride
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Climb aboard the White River Junction Train Ride for a tour of the "Zoo behind the Zoo."

Riders will enjoy a 10-minute narrated journey and learn about our Plains animals, greenhouse, gardens, the Zoo’s
15,000-square-foot veterinary hospital, maintenance and commissary departments and other behind-the-scenes operations necessary to run the Zoo. Available mid-March through December, riders will also learn about the Zoo’s animal conservation mission.

ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCES
Animal Art Adventures

As the world’s largest land mammal, elephants may seem cumbersome. But did you know their agile prehensile trunks also allow them to do some amazing work with an artist’s brush? An Elephant Art Adventure takes participants behind the scenes in the elephant barn, where they meet an elephant, learn about some of the things that make this elephant unique in our herd and walk away with their very own piece of elephant artwork!

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ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCES
Animal Amigo
Sponsor an Elephant

The Animal Amigo program helps care for all of the animals at the Zoo by funding food, medical treatment, equipment, enrichment toys, and habitat improvement for the animals in our care. For a donation of $100 or more, you con sponsor an elephant at the Indianapolis Zoo. You will receive a plush, collector card, certificate and recognition on the Animal Amigo donor board!

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TAKE ACTION
You can make a difference.

You can help by taking the 96 Elephants pledge to show your support for measures aimed at combating the global ivory trade. As well, only purchase products made from sustainable alternatives to ivory.

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