Ajani, one of the Birmingham Zoo’s African elephants, will be moving to Sedgwick County Zoo. The Birmingham Zoo joins the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and other zoos around the world in maintaining Species Survival Plan ® Programs, cooperative breeding and conservation initiatives. This move allows Ajani to join a herd of one male and six female elephants.
“Ajani will provide Sedgwick County Zoo the opportunity to help with the conservation of the African elephant species in a really big way,” says Chris Pfefferkorn, Birmingham Zoo Senior Vice President. “As part of the Zoo’s mission, we want to ensure elephants are not just a part of history but a part of each and every person’s future. This move will allow Ajani the chance to breed, which he does not currently have in the Birmingham Zoo’s bachelor herd.”
“Ajani has a big personality and loves to learn new things,” says Dr. Stephanie Braccini Slade, Birmingham Zoo Vice President, Living Collections. “He quickly adjusted to our bachelor herd, becoming more confident and social. We are excited for Ajani and the potential breeding program at Sedgwick County Zoo.”
The Birmingham Zoo has also joined with AZA and the Wildlife Conservation Society as a partner on the 96 Elephants Campaign – an effort focused on securing a U.S. moratorium on ivory sales, bolstering protection of African elephants and educating the public about the link between ivory consumption and the elephant poaching crisis. Signatures can make a difference in ceasing the ivory trade and ensuring the continued survival of these animals. To support this important cause and sign the 96 Elephants petition, please visit www.96elephants.org.
As part of continued research efforts, the Birmingham Zoo developed an elephant socialization rubric and conducted behavioral observations to determine elephant social dispositions and dominance in an all-male African elephant herd. The Birmingham Zoo also established behavioral research relationships with various universities in states such as Alabama, Arkansas and Kentucky.
The Birmingham Zoo would like to invite the community to see Ajani in Trails of Africa before he leaves the Zoo for his new home in Wichita, Kansas.