The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn., and North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, N.C., announced the recent arrival of Artie, a 40-year-old African elephant, at The Elephant Sanctuary in late January.
Artie was born in the wilds of Zimbabwe and brought to the United States in 1986 with a group of young elephants that were orphaned due to culling carried out by the Zimbabwe government. Artie arrived at North Carolina Zoo in 2007 at the age of 15. A favorite among keepers and Zoo visitors, North Carolina Zoo staff described Artie as “the most talkative of the elephants at the zoo―he chortles often, especially for breakfast.”
Home to six African elephants, two males and four females, the North Carolina Zoo works in collaboration with other Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited facilities.
“Meeting Artie’s needs at this stage of his life as an older bull was a priority. The decision for Artie to move to The Elephant Sanctuary, given their large habitat spaces, excellent husbandry facilities, and multiple African elephant residents, provides Artie with the best opportunities for lifetime care and social well-being as he ages,” said the Chief Executive Officer and Director of the North Carolina Zoo, Pat Simmons.
Upon his arrival at The Elephant Sanctuary’s Elephant Health Care Center, Artie was greeted by The Sanctuary’s vet team and care staff with plenty of water, fresh-cut fruits, vegetables, and hay. The Elephant Health Care Center’s two-stall heated barn has 3.6 acres of habitat space, providing him with ample room to explore. Over the coming weeks, Artie’s health and individual needs will be the focus as he becomes acquainted with his new environment.
The construction of a new barn and larger habitat is underway, which will provide Artie, The Sanctuary’s first permanent bull resident, with more social opportunities and an expanded natural landscape. The project is slated to be completed later this year.
“The Sanctuary has been working with our AZA colleagues at North Carolina Zoo to plan for Artie for many months,” said Janice Zeitlin, chief executive officer of The Elephant Sanctuary. “Artie transitioned easily into the new Elephant Health Care Center barn and has spent the past few days exploring his new habitat, tossing mud, pushing trees, and meeting his care staff. We applaud all those who have helped Artie with this next chapter of life, and The Elephant Sanctuary looks forward to posting updates as we learn more about the newest and largest Sanctuary herd mate!”
Photo Credit: © North Carolina Zoo
Edited by Sarah Gilsoul, a writer and communications program assistant at AZA.
Back to All Stories