For Release: September 2010
Karin Korpowski-Gallo (202) 633-3082 or or (202) 904-8724
Communications Office (202) 633-3055
Kandula, a male, was born Nov. 25, 2001. He weighed 324 pounds at birth. His mother is Shanthi, and he is the Zoo’s smallest elephant. Kandula (KAN-dula) is named for the most famous elephant in Sri Lanka’s history. The original Kandula was known for his courage, strength and loyalty. He was a gift to an infant prince 2,150 years ago, and the future king and his elephant grew up together.
Shanthi, a female Asian elephant, was born about 1975. Shanthi came from Sri Lanka, where she was lived at the Pinnewela Elephant Orphanage. She was given to the National Zoo as a gift from the children of Sri Lanka in 1976. Shanthi means “peace” in Sinhalese. (Shanthi is sometimes also translated as “blessing.” The translation varies from region to region.)
Shanthi weighs at least 9,000 pounds and is the Zoo’s largest Asian elephant.
Kandula is her second calf; a female born in 1993 died of a then-unknown virus in 1995.
Ambika is a female Asian elephant who was born around 1948 and weighs about 7,800 pounds. Ambika was captured in the Coorg forest in India when she was about eight years of age and placed in a work, or logging, camp. In 1961 Ambika was given to the National Zoo as a gift from the children of India.
# # #