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NC Zoo welcomes new African elephant, Louie

NC Zoo officials are hopeful Louie and one of the Zoo’s females will produce offspring.

ASHEBORO, N.C. — The North Carolina Zoo has welcomed a new member to its herd!

Louie, the massive African bull elephant officially arrived to the Zoo this past week. Coming from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Nebraska, he is settling into his new habitat nicely, zookeepers said.

Louie is a part of the African Elephant Species Survival Plan. The keepers are hopeful that Louie and one of the Zoo’s females will produce offspring.

"The elephant team is excited to have Louie join our herd. He has been great and is making the transition well. We are thankful to have an Omaha Zookeeper with us to teach us all of his quirks and she has taught us so much already about this handsome guy,” Animal Management Supervisor Nancy Kauffman said.

The North Carolina Zoo currently has seven African elephants: males C’sar, Artie, and now Louie; and females Nekhanda, Rafiki, Tonga, and Batir. This multi-generational herd is managed with two separate habitats on the Watani Grassland, allowing the elephants to socially interact with each other much as they would in the wild.

Male elephants are fully grown by 25 years of age, so Louie, just 18 years old, is still expected to grow. He currently weighs 8,220 pounds and stands more than nine feet tall at the shoulder. African elephants are well-known as the world’s largest land mammal.


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