The Zoo would like to introduce you to its largest animal residents. Aside from the calves born at the Zoo, three of the adult elephants were rescued from Swaziland, Africa, and one came from another AZA-accredited zoo in the U.S. Each elephant has its own unique behaviors and characteristics, so here are a few facts to help you recognize each one on your journey though Safari Africa.
Mabli is the smallest and youngest (approx. 21 years old) female elephant in the group. Elephants are the largest living land mammals in the world. So although she is smaller in size, she still weighs an impressive 6,400 pounds! Mbali is a very attentive mother, and spends most of her day trying to keep an eye on the two calves. When translated to English, Mbali means "pretty flower."
Sdudla, meaning stout or sturdy, is an impressive bull weighing about 9,400 pounds. He enjoys tussling with the girls and splashing in the exhibit's pool. The elephants' diet consists of hay, browse and produce! They are also given various tree limbs, branches and logs for stripping. Sdudla is approximately 23 years old.
Ellie is the oldest of the group (30 years old), weighing in at 7,900 pounds. Ellie comes from another zoo in North America, but was born in the Etosha National Park in Namibia, Africa. She first became the "mother figure" of the group in 2003, much like the matriarchal role female elephants play in the wild. Ellie's favorite thing to do now is spending time with the new calves.
Matjeka weighs 7,600 pounds. Her name means "skew tusks" and was given to her because of her tusks are askew. Matjeka enjoys digging and mudding up to help beat the Florida heat! Matjeka is approximately 22 years old.