Zoo Prepares for Departure of Male African Elephant

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Zoo Prepares for Departure of Male African Elephant

Callee, a 22-year-old adult male African elephant, will soon join eight African elephants at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas. His move was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ African Elephant Species Survival Plan.

“Callee has made a lasting impression on both the elephant care staff and every elephant in our herd, including his calves,” said Sarah Armstrong, elephant manager at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. “While he will be greatly missed in Omaha, we are happy he will be moving to Wichita, where he will not only have the opportunity to breed, but also socialize and mentor other male elephants.”

His move very closely mirrors the natural behaviors of elephants in the wild. Adult males live together in small bachelor herds, while females raise their calves and live in multi-generational family groups. Males find females to breed and then move on.

Callee, born at the Pittsburgh Zoo, came to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in 2019 to grow the herd. During his time here, he sired three calves, one of which was the first African elephant birth in the Zoo’s history:

• Eugenia, born on January 7, 2022 to Kiki
• Sonny, born on January 20, 2022 to Claire
• Mopani, born on March 2, 2023 to Lolly

The Zoo is expecting the birth of two more calves over the next 10 months. The exact date and travel arrangements for the move are currently being coordinated at this time. Our elephant care team is actively working with Callee to prepare him for transport. He is expected to arrive in his new home this spring.

The African elephant population is currently threatened due to poaching and trafficking for the illegal ivory trade, as well as habitat loss. The Zoo’s breeding program is committed to protecting the population of African elephants in the United States for generations to come.

Posted by Andrea Hennings at 13:44