WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Two female Asian elephants will join the herd at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI).
Trong Nhi, 19, and her 9-year-old daughter Nhi Linh will join male Spike, 41 and females Kamala, 47, Swarna, 47, Bozie, 47, and Maharani, 32, at the Elephant Trails exhibit, a habitat that includes space for socializing, training and playing while providing staff safe access to care for the animals, the zoo said.
“Trong Nhi and Nhi Linh are not only important social additions to our herd, but also they are key to our efforts to help sustain the Asian elephant population in North America and around the world,” said Brandie Smith, the John and Adrienne Mars Director of NZCBI. “Most people will never have a chance to see Asian elephants, which are endangered, in their native countries. However, they can observe our ambassador elephants here at the Zoo, learn about them and join our conservation efforts to protect and save this species in the wild. Trong Nhi and Nhi Linh are an energetic, dynamic duo, and we’re looking forward to seeing how their relationships with our team and their future herd-mates develop.”
NZCBI got a recommendation to breed Trong Nhi and Nhi Linh with Spike from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP).
The SSP matches individual animals for breeding in order to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse and self-sustaining population, the zoo said.
The new elephants were a gift from the Rotterdam Zoo in South Holland, Netherlands. After a quarantine period, the elephant team will begin the process of introducing Trong Nhi and Nhi Linh to their new herd members.
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