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Asian Elephant

Asian elephants, are magnificent and highly intelligent mammals native to the forests and grasslands of Asia. These gentle giants are distinguished by their large ears, curved tusks, and wrinkled skin. Asian elephants are known for their complex social structures, with herds led by matriarchs and consisting of related females and their offspring. They are herbivores, feeding on a variety of vegetation including grasses, leaves, fruits, and bark. Unfortunately, Asian elephants face significant conservation challenges, including habitat loss, fragmentation, and human-wildlife conflict. Learn more during Keeper Chats Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 PM.

Elephants that currently make their home at the Little Rock Zoo include a trio of elderly females; Zina, born in 1961; Sophie, born in 1969; and Babe, born in 1975. The Little Rock Zoo is committed to the highest standards in elephant care and conservation and specializes in handling geriatric female elephants. Our elephant caretakers specialize in caring for elderly female pachyderms, and Babe, Sophie and Zina get round-the-clock attention.

Sophie is very musical. She likes to hear noises, and will bang things against the fence. Babe is our all-star painter. Babe and Sophie are definitely bonded, and we make sure one can always see the other.

Zina, the oldest and smallest at 6,200 pounds, is a little less social than Babe and Sophie. Both Sophie and Zina are dominant females. Since they can't both be in charge, they must play in separate yards, and their barn is divided. But Babe and Zina get along fine and are able to socialize and interact.

Caretakers are dedicated to providing special accommodations to make the trio comfortable. Great mounds of dirt are piled at three locations in the elephant exhibit to give the arthritic giants something to lean against to rest, rather than having to get all the way up and down from the ground.

  • Not all elephants develop visible tusks. In Asian elephants, only some males have large, prominent tusks. Most female and some male Asian elephants have small tusks, called tushes, which seldom protrude more than an inch or two from the lip line.
  • Elephants communicate over long distances using low-pitched sounds that are barely audible to humans. These powerful infrasonic rumbles contain specific messages that can be heard and understood by other elephants more than 2 miles away.

Asian elephants are facing significant conservation challenges due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and human-wildlife conflict throughout their range in Asia. Deforestation, agricultural expansion, and urbanization have resulted in the degradation and loss of their natural habitats, making it increasingly difficult for Asian elephants to find suitable food and shelter. Additionally, they are often hunted and persecuted by humans due to conflicts arising from crop raiding and perceived threats to human safety. Conservation efforts aimed at protecting Asian elephants include habitat preservation, mitigating human-wildlife conflicts through community engagement and education, and implementing anti-poaching measures. Please join our efforts to secure a future for this species by donating to our conservation fund.

Meet Our Elephants

Come meet our amazing elephants! Learn more about each of our individual elephants and their unique personalities, histories, and conservation stories.

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