Cincinnati Zoo expands herd, welcomes 4 new Asian elephants

Four Asian elephants were introduced Sunday to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and are in their new habitat, Elephant Trek, which is scheduled to open next summer.

The elephants SheRa, Kabir, Anak and Sanjay come from the Dublin Zoo on a joint recommendation from Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Asian Elephant Species Survival Plan and its equivalent in the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, the Endangered Ex-situ program, which makes breeding and transfer decisions with the goal to sustain a genetically diverse, demographically varied and biologically sound population, according to a statement from the Cincinnati Zoo’s website.

The 5-acre Elephant Trek is one of the largest habitats the zoo has ever built.

“We’ve been collaborating with the Dublin Zoo’s care team for more than a year and have spent a lot of time with our new residents in their former home,” Eric Duning, Cincinnati Zoo’s elephant team leader, said. “I’ve been with them for the past few weeks and accompanied them to Cincinnati. We also brought members of their care team here to assist with their transition.”


  • 32-year-old female
  • Mother of Kabir; Mother of Anak
  • Related to Cincinnati Zoo elephant Schottzie


  • 6-year-old male
  • Son of SheRa


  • 20-year-old female
  • Mother of Sanjay


  • 5-year-old male
  • Son of Anak

The new arrivals will be getting acclimated with their new habitat in the winter and later will be introduced to the rest of the elephant herd before the opening of the new exhibit next year.

One of the Cincinnati Zoo’s bull elephants, Sabu, will be the first to be introduced to the new elephants when he returns from the Columbus Zoo in early 2024. Schottzie (SheRa’s aunt), Mai Thai and Jati will join the herd after that, with the goal to let the whole, multi-generational herd roam together in the 5-acre space, the statement said.

According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, there are only 40,000 Asian elephants in the wild today. The zoo is focused on multiple conservations efforts to support to the survival of them.

Schottzie, Mai Thai and Jati will remain in the Elephant Reserve, close to the zoo’s main entrance, until they move to Elephant Trek next year.

“We are sad to see them go but thrilled that they will be in this great new facility,” said Miguel Bueno, General Curator at Dublin Zoo.

People can follow the Cincinnati Zoo’s social media accounts for more information.

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