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Fresno Chaffee Zoo doubles its African elephant herd with new additions

Nolwazi and her daughter Amahle arrived in Fresno, CA, from the Dallas Zoo Oct. 16. 2018.
Nolwazi and her daughter Amahle arrived in Fresno, CA, from the Dallas Zoo Oct. 16. 2018. Dallas Zoo

Fresno Chaffee Zoo just doubled the size of its herd of African elephants.

Two new elephants — a 24-year-old female named Nolwazi and her 9-year-old daughter Amahle — arrived from the Dallas Zoo on Tuesday night. The pair originally came from the Swaziland rescue in 2016.

“We have been looking to grow our African elephant herd,” the zoo’s deputy director/COO Amos Morris said in a news release.

“Having Nolwazi and Amahle join enables us to do that,” he said.

Eventually, the zoo hopes to breed the elephants.

IMG_4604-Amahle & Nolwazi.jpg
Fresno Chaffee Zoo welcomed two African Elephants Oct. 16., 2018. The elephants came from the Dallas Zoo. Dallas Zoo

Prior to the move, the Chaffee Zoo cared for one bull elephant and a young female. The hope is for Nolwazi can assume the role of matriarch and lead her own herd, according to Harrison Edell, Executive Vice President of Animal Care & Conservation for the Dallas Zoo.

“Likewise, Amahle will have a similar-aged female with whom to socialize and play, which is such a vital part of her personality,” he said.

The zoos have been working together over the past few months and a team from the Dallas Zoo will remain in Fresno for a few days to help ensure a successful transition.

The new elephants are expected to be out in the exhibit soon. Visitors can follow the zoo’s social media to find out when they will be visible to the public.

Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee
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