Elephant News

Posted march 11, 2016

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An Elephant Farewell is planned at the Virginia Zoo from March 28 to April 10, 2016. Please visit the event page for more information and specific details.



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POSTED November 2, 2015:


virginia zoo elephant 1

Virginia Zoo Elephant





POSTED MAY 13, 2015:

media letter from greg 5 13 15


posted May 13, 2015:

Excerpt from: AZA Accreditation Standards for Elephant Management and Care, pg. 13, section Suggested age and sex structure of social group

Standard: Each zoo holding elephants must hold a minimum of three females (or the space to hold three females), two males or three elephants of mixed gender. If a zoo cannot meet this standard, they must apply for a variance. Before the variance can be issued by the Accreditation Commission the zoo (a) must describe their plan to obtain additional elephants or describe their plan for deacquisitioning their elephants and (b) must describe what will occur if they experience the loss of one elephant. In most cases where an institution has one remaining elephant, the remaining elephant will receive a recommendation for relocation at another AZA institution from the Elephant TAG/SSP.

By 1 September 2016, no further variances will be issued.

Other Sources:

Elephant Welfare Study


The Zoo has created this media room so that you can stay current on the details of this decision. We have also created an elephant communication line (elephant@virginiazoo.org) so that you can email your thoughts.