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Asian elephant News Archive

Apr. 20, 2022
When female Asian elephant Swarna joined our herd in May 2014, her routine tooth exams showed an unusual shape and wear pattern on her teeth. Elephant dentistry specialists joined the Zoo’s team to...
Nov. 04, 2021
Food for thought: Nutrition forms the foundation to living a healthy life. Get a taste of the challenges real-life Zoo Guardian and Clinical Animal Nutritionist, Erin Kendrick, faces as she...
Nov. 04, 2021
Keepers can learn a lot about an animal’s needs just by monitoring its weight. But how do you weigh a wiggly ferret or get a full-grown elephant onto a scale? Find out in this update from primate...
Oct. 01, 2021
Raise your trunks for the world’s largest land mammal: the elephant! Find out how animal keeper, Rebecca Riley, cares for Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Asian elephant herd.
Jun. 14, 2021
How do you create a menu that is pleasing to the palates of giant pandas, flamingos and fishing cats? With more than 2,700 mouths to feed among 390 species, the Department of Nutrition Science whips...
Apr. 29, 2021
How do animal keepers take a blood sample from an elephant or examine a big cat's teeth? Find out how training helps keepers care for animals that they can't share a physical space with in this...
Asian elephant Shanthi at the Elephant Trails exhibit.
Jun. 27, 2020
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute community is mourning the loss of Shanthi, beloved member of its Asian elephant herd and ambassador for her species. After decades of...
May. 19, 2020
The Zoo cares for five female Asian elephants from a few different family groups. Luckily, there are a few things that keepers can do to encourage them to build positive relationships. Learn more in...
May. 01, 2020
Chirping cheetah cubs, a birthday party fit for a gorilla and a Madagascar hedgehog tenrec indulging in some self-care with a dust bath—all of these events (and more) made for an eventful month. 
Asian elephant Ambika at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Elephant Trails habitat in 2016.
Mar. 28, 2020
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo community is mourning the loss of Ambika, the beloved eldest member of its Asian elephant herd. She was humanely euthanized yesterday, March 27, following a recent and...
Asian elephant Shanthi at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.
Jan. 06, 2020
As the Smithsonian’s National Zoo rang in the new year, the elephant team celebrated another revolution around the sun for (now) 45-year-old female Asian elephant, Shanthi.
Asian elephant Shanthi at the Zoo's Elephant Trails exhibit.
Dec. 06, 2019
An update on Asian elephant Shanthi's osteoarthritis. 
Close-up of Asian elephant Maharani's face.
Jul. 12, 2019
Female Asian elephant Maharani is turning 29 years old Sunday, July 14, and we are celebrating with her favorite thing—food!
An Asian elephant with large tusks walks near houses in Myanmar
Jun. 12, 2019
Large animals, like the Asian elephants, have evolved to grow and mature at a different rate than many smaller species monitored by organizations like the International Union for the Conservation of...
May. 17, 2019
Like many aging animals, Asian elephant Shanthi has osteoarthritis. She was first diagnosed with the chronic condition when she was in her teens. Zoo keepers and veterinarians have spent decades...
Mar. 01, 2019
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo was created in 1889 and opened its doors in 1891. To celebrate its 130th anniversary, look back at how the Zoo has evolved through the years.
Mar. 01, 2019
When Asian elephant Swarna needed her teeth examined, animal keepers tried something that had never been done at the Zoo before. Over two months, they trained the 44-year-old elephant to voluntarily...
Male Asian elephant in Myanmar.
Jun. 01, 2018
Learn all about studying elephant personalities in this Q&A with Shifra Goldenberg, a research associate with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Conservation Ecology Center.
May. 18, 2018
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is dedicated to saving species. Every day, its scientists and partners undertake important conservation efforts to protect species...
A large Asian elephant, Spike, with tusks and gray skin stands in the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Elephant Community Center
Apr. 27, 2018
On April 27, 2018, Asian elephant Spike received a celebratory cake as he explored his new habitat in the Elephant Community Center at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology...
A male Asian elephant with tusks stands in a brightly lit barn at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Apr. 24, 2018
Asian elephant Spike will receive a celebratory cake as he explores his new habitat in the Elephant Community Center at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
Apr. 20, 2018
Get the latest scoop on Asian elephant Spike from animal keeper Amanda Bobyack.
Apr. 19, 2018
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and Clemson University scientists have found that poaching is an emerging crisis in Myanmar for Asian elephants.
Asian elephant Spike in the Elephant Barn.
Mar. 29, 2018
This update was written by elephant keeper Kayleigh Sullivan.  It has been almost a week since Asian elephant Spike arrived at the Elephant Trails habitat. Since then, he has made himself right at...
A large male Asian elephant with white tusks stands in a brightly lit barn at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Mar. 23, 2018
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo community is celebrating the arrival of a 36-year-old male Asian elephant named Spike.