DCSIMG


Search

Meet the Zoo's Asian Elephants

Three Asian elephants—Ambika, Shanthi, and Kandula—live at the National Zoo, but plans call for growing the herd to form a social group like those found in the wild. Elephant Trails is designed to accommodate a multi-generation herd.

Kandula

Kandula

Born: November 25, 2001
Sex: Male
Weight: Currently about 7,000 pounds. He weighed 324 pounds when he was born.
Name: Kandula was named for the most famous elephant in Sri Lanka’s history. The original Kandula was a gift to an infant prince 2,150 years ago, and the future king and his elephant grew up together. The elephant was known for his courage, strength and loyalty.
History at the Zoo:

Kandula is Shanthi's son and was born at the National Zoo.

Shanthi

Born: Around 1975
Sex: Female
Weight:

Approximately 9,000 pounds. Shanthi is the Zoo’s largest elephant.

Name: Shanthi means “peace” or “blessing” in Sinhalese (translation varies from region to region).
History at the Zoo:

Shanthi was given to the National Zoo as a gift from the children of Sri Lanka in 1976. Kandula is her second calf; a female born in 1993 died of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) in 1995.

Origin:

Shanthi came from Sri Lanka, where she lived at the Pinnewela Elephant Orphanage until 1976.

Ambika

Born: Around 1948
Sex: Female
Weight:

Approximately 7,300 pounds.

History at the Zoo:

Ambika was given to the national Zoo as a gift from the children of India in 1961.

Origin:

Ambika was captured in the Coorg forest in India when she was about eight years old and placed in a logging camp.