Elephant Farewell

April 5, 2016

Date/Time
April 5, 2016 - April 10, 2016
All Day

Location
The Virginia Zoo


During the week, Virginia Zoo visitors are invite to bid farewell to Lisa and Cita before they travel to Zoo Miami. At 1 pm, staff will have a daily chat with visitors at 1 pm in front of the elephant habitat in the Africa – Okavango Delta exhibit, along with a banner to sign that will travel with the elephants for display at Zoo Miami.

On weekends between 11 am and 3 pm there will be added elephant-themed crafts for children and a special enrichment presentation following the staff chat at 1 pm. See the schedule below for further details, and be sure to check back for updates.

March 28 – April 1

1 pm: Educational Afternoon Chat

Banner available for visitors to sign their well-wishes to the girls.

April 2 – April 3

11 am – 3 pm: Farewell festivities include

  • Banner available for visitors to sign their well-wishes to the girls
  • Education discovery carts
  • Elephant conservation buttons
  • Elephant themed crafts including coloring sheets and painting

1 pm: Educational Afternoon Chat & Special Elephant Enrichment Activity

April 4 – 8

1 pm: Educational Afternoon Chat

Banner available for visitors to sign their well-wishes to the girls.

April 9 – April 10

11 am – 3 pm: Farewell festivities include

  • Banner available for visitors to sign their well-wishes to the girls
  • Education discovery carts
  • Elephant conservation buttons
  • Elephant themed crafts including coloring sheets and painting

1 pm: Educational Afternoon Chat &  Special Elephant Enrichment Activity

 


The Zoo announced last year that the elephants would be relocated to Miami after staff and the board explored the best options available for the female elephants. The decision was based on recommendations of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the oversight and governing body of accredited zoos in the U.S.

Studies of elephants in the wild show that female elephants are very social and naturally live in multi-generational herds with matriarchal leaders. Research in the past decade and more recently has compelled the AZA leadership, elephant holding institutions and elephant care staff to require that zoos maintain elephant herds with three or more members to maintain the complex social and psychological health of the animals. 

Read more about the decision and get more information, details and images here.