Audubon Zoo Welcomes New Elephants from Buffalo Zoo
Audubon Zoo welcomed two new elephants from Buffalo Zoo this week: Surapa (age 36) and Jothi (age 37). The two elephants will join Audubon’s longtime elephant residents, Panya (age 54) and Jean (age 45) in their Asian Domain habitat.
The complex is equipped to meet the specialized needs of elephants, with multiple pools, shade, a newly built barn with heated and padded floors and an interpretive center offering guests multiple vantage points and education opportunities.
“We are very excited to have Surapa and Jothi join our herd of two girls and we are honored that the staff and board at Buffalo Zoo as well as the community supported this move,” says Joel Hamilton, Vice President and General Curator at Audubon Zoo. “We hope in having them all here people will learn about this species and get inspired to protect them in the wild to make sure they do not go extinct,” says Hamilton.
The Buffalo Zoo made the decision to relocate Surapa and Jothi after careful consideration of the short-term and long-term needs of the elephants. In August, the Buffalo Zoo Board of Directors voted unanimously to relocate the elephants to the Audubon Zoo, which is committed to continue to care for these beloved girls moving forward.
“If you’ve ever cared for a loved one in their golden years, then you know the responsibility the Buffalo Zoo has to thoughtfully plan for Jothi and Surapa’s future and all of the animals in our care. We will always do what is best and right for them, even if it sometimes means opportunities away from the Buffalo Zoo,’’ said Norah Fletchall, President and CEO, Buffalo Zoo. “I am so proud and want to thank the Buffalo Zoo team for the exceptional work they’ve done to complete a safe relocation. We are grateful to our partners at Audubon Zoo who share our vision and work alongside us to save wildlife every day.”
The Buffalo Zoo and Audubon Zoo are both accredited members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and have worked together on this move to best support the health and welfare of the animals in their care.
The new elephants will not be consistently visible to the public at this time as they get settled into their new home.
Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.