Powell, OH – Bodhi, the seven-year-old Asian elephant, born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium arrived safely at the Denver Zoo in Denver, Colorado on Thursday night.
Similar to Bodhi’s home at the Columbus Zoo, Denver Zoo’s Asian Tropics is one of the largest elephant habitats in North America featuring multiple outdoor habitats and 1.1 million gallons of water. This extra space will allow Denver Zoo to house a significant number of bull elephants. New areas will include numerous enriching environments including mud wallows, scratching trees, shade structures and plenty of water for swimming and bathing.
“The moment Bodhi was born we knew that this day would come,” said Harry Peachey, Assistant Curator at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. “The relationship that keepers establish with elephants is part of the job, but it is also deeply personal and that makes this whole thing a difficult process. We all know this is good for Columbus, good for Denver, good for Bodhi and ultimately good for the Asian elephant population in North America; but the day we turn around to head back and leave Colorado, that will be tough. "
“This actually parallels what would be part of the natural order of things for Bodhi had he been born in the wild,” Peachey continued. “He would have been booted out of his mom’s social group and well into establishing a new life. For Bodhi, that process begins right now.”
Bodhi’s highly anticipated birth occurred on April 16, 2004 and marked the first successful Asian elephant birth at the Columbus Zoo. This was a significant birth, not only for the Zoo, but for the Asian elephant population as well.
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The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to more than 9,000 animals representing 675 species and provides more than $1 million annually to support over 70 conservation projects worldwide. A recreational and education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and 18-hole Safari Golf Club, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium hosts more than two million visitors annually and was named the #1 Zoo in America by USA Travel Guide. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Columbus Zoo has earned Charity Navigator’s prestigious 4-star rating. For more information and to purchase advance Zoo admission tickets, visit www.columbuszoo.org.