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Bodhi the Asian Elephant to Move Out West

Media Alert: Tuesday, October 04, 2011

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2011

CONTACT:                                                
Jennifer Wilson                                        
Communications Manager

Powell, OH – Bodhi, the seven-year-old Asian elephant at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, will be moving to the Denver Zoo in Denver, Colorado by year’s end to start a new chapter of his life.
 
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.
The hope of Bodhi’s move to Denver is that he will one day sire calves and continue to increase a genetically diverse population of Asian elephants within zoos. Bodhi’s new home at the Denver Zoo’s Asian Tropics is located on 10 acres of land, consists of five elephant yards and can house eight to 12 elephants at a time.
 
“Bodhi is very special to us and we hate to see him go, but it’s the right thing to do,” said Harry Peachey, Assistant Curator at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. “He may have an important role to play in the future of the Asian elephant population in North America, and if that’s the case, he’ll be better positioned to do that at another facility than he will here at Columbus. Asian elephant social groups in the wild are predominantly matriarchal, kinship-based groups, meaning the members are mostly related females. Males don’t play a permanent role in social groups like that. What that means for Asian elephants is that young males like Bodhi have to leave the group early on in life. From watching their behavior, it is pretty clear that, in a wild group, Phoebe and Connie would have asked Bodhi to leave long before now. Because of that behavior, Bodhi has not been a part of their social group for some time. Fortunately we were able to wait for an opportunity like this to come along before we moved him to another facility."
 
Over the last seven years Bodhi has been a favorite of many Columbus Zoo guests and will no doubt be loved in Denver too. Guests are invited to the Zoo from now until Bodhi’s departure, before the end of the year, to bid him farewell and wish him luck in his future. Bodhi can be seen every day in the Zoo’s Pachyderm Building between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.   
 
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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.