Elephants Temporarily Move Out of the Zoo

The Nashville Zoo is beginning plans to relocate three, female elephants living at the Zoo to new homes. The move will enable the Zoo to create a barn that can support new elephant management requirements. All three elephants are expected to be relocated by November, and the Zoo plans to give Zoo members and supporters a chance to visit the elephants and to say goodbye before they all leave.

Hadari, a 33-year old female and Rosie, a 44-year old female will both be relocated to The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, TN, just a 90 minute drive from the Zoo. The destination for Sukari, a 31-year old female, has yet to be decided, but Zoo staff is working closely with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Elephant Species Survival Program to determine the ideal location for Sukari based on herd dynamics/relationships and her individual traits/behaviors.

Hadari is privately owned by a couple who have worked for the Zoo caring for elephants for many years. They wanted Hadari to be close so they could visit her. Rosie is the second oldest African elephant in accredited zoos so it made sense for her health and well-being to keep her trip to a new home as short as possible.

An exact timeline for completing the Zoo’s elephant facility expansion has not yet been determined. Mandates by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums require considerable improvements to Nashville Zoo’s existing barn which was built in 1997. Several options are currently being considered but any work will be extremely invasive to the elephants’ current home making the relocation necessary. The end result will be tremendous for the Zoo’s elephants and for the future of this species at Nashville Zoo.

Last April, the Zoo’s fourth elephant, Juno, was sent to The National Elephant Center in Fellsmere, FL in preparation for the expansion. In August, Juno died at the center from an undetected intestinal disease. The cause of the disease is unknown and TNEC officials are continuing to investigate.

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Andrea has always loved the written word. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and a Masters in Creative Writing, both from Belmont University. Both sides of her family have lived in Williamson County for generations, so writing for Williamson Source is the perfect fit. She loves to hear stories of what Williamson County was like when her parents and grandparents were young and to write about this ever evolving county is truly special for her.