Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is currently hosting the Elephant Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) in Omaha with 37 participants in person and 28 virtually from 47 AZA-accredited organizations. This group examines the sustainability and conservation needs of both African and Asian Elephants to develop recommendations for population management and conservation based upon the needs of the species and AZA-accredited institutions.
TAGs also manage the AZA Animal Programs, including Species Survival Plan (SSP) Programs and Studbooks, and serve as AZA experts regarding the husbandry, veterinary care, conservation needs/challenges, research priorities, ethical considerations, and other issues applicable to their taxa, and in this case, elephants.
“We are honored to host the Elephant expert advisors who help to manage AZA’s cooperative animal management programs,” said Dennis Pate, president and CEO of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. “Given the coordinated efforts needed between AZA accredited zoos, and the two January African Elephant calf births in Omaha, the timing is great to bring this team together to share best practices and plan for the future.”
“Many dedicated people assist in the Elephant conservation process along the way, but Omaha’s Zoo and Aquarium team of veterinarians, elephant keepers and reproductive scientists were the constant in managing the breeding and successful rearing of calves Eugenia and Sonny. They are incredibly dedicated to making sure that Elephants walk this earth for future generations,” continued Mr. Pate. “We are so excited to have Eugenia and Sonny in our herd and can’t wait to add Lolly’s calf next March. Each birth is a tremendous amount of hope for the future”
Eugenia was the first elephant born in the Zoo’s 127-year history and was born on January 7. Kiki, 18, is her mother and Callee, 21, is her father. Sonny is the second African elephant born at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on January 30. He was born to Mother Claire, 13 years old, and Father Callee. There are a total of eight elephants in the herd, including Eugenia and Sonny.