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Birmingham Zoo Welcomes Fourth Elephant

Jun 22, 2012 02:21PM, Published by Kitty, Categories: Today, Community




The Birmingham Zoo Welcomes Fourth Elephant as Part of the Conservation Mission.

The Birmingham Zoo proudly announces the last addition to the Trails of Africa herd. Tamani, a 6 year old African bull elephant, arrived from Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo in Florida. He is the youngest and smallest of the African male elephants, or “bulls,” in Trails of Africa. Born October 17, 2005, Tamani weighs in at approximately 3,855 pounds and stands at 6 feet tall. Tamani eats over 100 pounds of produce and hay every day. Tamani is rotated on exhibit between the Trails of Africa Boma Yard and the main yard of Trails of Africa. The goal is for all four elephants to be in the main yard after June 30th.  Trails of Africa provides avenues to research male elephant issues by recreating African bull elephants’ natural habitat and studying how they evolve as a herd. For now, Zoo staff are primarily focusing on behavioral observation and research. The addition of Tamani to the Trails of Africa herd will allow Zoo staff to research how a younger male elephant develops and interacts with older bulls. Blood samples are taken from the Trails of Africa elephants every week in order to test the levels of various hormones, such as testosterone and cortisol. The elephants’ behavior correlates with staff observations as it relates to the animals’ hormone levels. The presence of all males provides unique research opportunities to benefit African bull elephant conservation.
 
In addition to familiarizing himself with all the smells and sounds of Birmingham, Tamani has met and gotten acquainted with his fellow herd members: Ajani, age 11, Callee, age 11, and Bulwagi, age 31. The elephants were first “howdied” (introduced with a safety barrier in place) in the Large Animal Information and Research (LAIR) facility and later introduced without a barrier. Since then, Tamani continues to get acquainted with Ajani, Bulwagi and Callee.
 
Through Trails of Africa, the Birmingham Zoo seeks to increase knowledge, change attitudes, engage the community and influence behaviors that can positively impact elephant conservation.
 
For more information about the Birmingham Zoo and Trails of Africa, please visit www.birminghamzoo.com.



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