Late last night, March 6, three African elephants arrived safely in Tucson from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, CA. The successful transfer included a female named “Samba” and her two young offspring “Punga” (age 5) and Sundzu (age 1).
They are not in the exhibit or viewable by media at this time. Photos are not yet available.
When the elephants are introduced to the outdoor Expedition Tanzania exhibit, media will be notified and will be provided with access. It could be 2-4 days before they have yard access, although animal behavior will guide the schedule.
The elephants were transported by truck in specially designed crates that the elephants were trained to be comfortable with. They traveled with veterinary staff and their keepers, who are still at Reid Park Zoo facilitating a smooth transition. Today, the new arrivals have access to the Click Family Elephant Care Center and are eating as well as interacting with their new keepers.
“Mabu,” the youngsters’ father, and another adult female named “Lungile” arrived February 24th and are settling in.
The exhibit is scheduled to open to the public on March 28th. Reid Park Zoo Members only can begin previewing the exhibit on March 25th at 10 a.m.