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Male African Elephant to be Transferred to San Diego Zoo Safari Park Featured

By Vivian VanPeenen September 02, 2016 1210

Reid Park Zoo announces that Mabu, an adult male African elephant, will move back to San Diego Zoo Safari Park, located in Escondido, California.


With the opening of Reid Park Zoo’s Expedition Tanzania habitat in 2012, the Safari Park established a satellite herd of five elephants in Tucson. The habitat was designed to encourage natural herd behavior and to allow for reproduction. While in Tucson, Mabu successfully bred with one of the adult females, and a calf, Nandi, was born two years later.

Bob Wiese, Ph.D., Chief Life Sciences Officer, San Diego Zoo Global states, "With the latest distressing news about the sharp decline in the elephant population in Africa, maintaining a breeding population of African elephants in North American zoos becomes even more important."

This fall, Mabu will travel back to his former herd. This move, which allows him to interact with other females, is not unlike what bull elephants experience in the wild. Elephants live in a matriarchal society, and the males move in and out of herds for breeding purposes. Guests who wish to see Mabu while still at Reid Park Zoo should plan to visit soon.

“We worked closely with our colleagues in San Diego prior to welcoming Mabu and throughout his time in Tucson,” says Dr. Sue Tygielski, the elephant manager at Reid Park Zoo. “While we will be sad to see him go, close working relationships between zoos can allow for male elephants to move among herds for breeding and social opportunities.”

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Last modified on Friday, 02 September 2016 13:03
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