New research leads to two male elephants coming to San Diego Zoo

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SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Two juvenile male elephants are settling in at their new home at the San Diego Zoo, part of a new project to better simulate the way they would have lived in the wild.

One made the short trip over from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, while the other came from a zoo in Tucson, Arizona. Both were showing signs of being pushed out of the herds at those habitats, which is typical for their age.

What is better understood now is how they would respond in the next phase of their lives.

“They’re not as solitary as we once thought," said Robbie Clark, the Animal Care Specialist who oversees the Zoo's elephants. "There’s been a lot of research and observation in the wild to show that males are actually extremely social. And it’s important we mimic that type of social behavior.”

The San Diego Zoo was seen as a good fit to house the two males, because they had enough space and could be kept separate from the other herd there, made up of three geriatric females. Clark says so far, bringing the two males together has worked.

“What we’ve already seen in the last few weeks is their interest in each other, their social bond is extremely tight and strong," he said.

The two even sleep right next to each other.

No fixed timeline has been set for how long the two males will be kept together.



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