A Warm Welcome for Our First Elephants

by John Lehnhardt

The National Elephant Center’s first residents.

I’m thrilled to announce the first elephants have arrived at The National Elephant Center.

The family group, consisting of two adult female and two subadult male African elephants, arrived this week and made history as our very first residents. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Elephant Taxon Advisory Group supported the animals’ move to The Center as part of a Species Survival Program (SSP). Because elephants are endangered, the SSP carefully manages the population in accredited North American zoos to ensure individuals are part of healthy social groupings to ensure their health and well-being. Previously the four animals lived at an AZA-accredited facility in central Florida.

Though they are still acclimating, the animals are adapting quickly to their new home. They are very eager to explore the sprawling habitats. As a family group, they enjoy spending time with each other and have been socializing together.


The group explores vegetation in one of the five-acre habitats.

We’re providing them with the highest quality of animal care, inspired by our deep love of elephants.

The entire team is beaming with pride and gratitude. We offer our sincere thanks to the supporters who made this moment possible.

We’ll share more photos and updates in the days and weeks to come. Right now our primary focus is caring for the animals. Please stay tuned and subscribe to the blog for updates. Thank you.