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World Elephant Day at the Zoo

Friday, August 9, 2019

African elephant

The world’s largest land animal is being celebrated Friday, August 9 at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Elephants are among the most intelligent creatures on the planet, and have been observed showing advanced problem solving skills. They also have self-awareness and a complex consciousness, capable of strong emotions including joy, love, grief, rage, stress, and compassion.

African elephantWorld Elephant Day is an annual event that helps promote and spread awareness for elephants in hopes it will inspire visitors to join in elephant conservation efforts. This year’s celebration is extra special, as it is the first time it’s being held in the Zoo’s new Adventure Africa! The new Elephant Yard is 1.6 acres and includes a waterhole, enrichment and feeding walls, and willow trees, resembling those found in the African savannah. Come support these incredible animals!

Highlights include:

  • Open House: Come see the new Elephant Care Center and learn about elephants in the second floor Learning Loft.
  • Marketplace: Ruth and Brittany have been perfecting their artistic skills, giving Picasso a run for his money! Painting is used as enrichment for the elephants in an effort to exercise their minds. Purchase one of their amazing artwork pieces or a delicious cookie, with all proceeds benefiting elephant conservation.
  • African elephantTrunk game: See how many elephant food pellets you can pick up with your “trunk.”
  • Temporary tattoos: Wear your pride for the elephants! Children receive complimentary temporary elephant tattoos.
  • Ivory signatures: Show your support for a law prohibiting the sale of ivory in the state of Wisconsin.
  • Enrichment: Stop by Ruth and Brittany’s stomping grounds, the Elephant Yard, at 10:30 a.m. to see enrichment activities. Enrichment is provided to satisfy the physical and psychological needs of animals, allowing them to make choices and show natural behaviors. There will also be a special demonstration at 1:30 p.m. at the Elephants in Action area.

Celebrate World Elephant Day with resident African elephants Ruth and Brittany at their new habitat in Adventure Africa. Visitors can help to make a difference, giving a voice to an amazing animal that is in dire need of protection.

Elephant numbers have dropped nearly 62 percent over the last decade. Because of this sharp decline, African elephants are currently listed as threatened in the wild and Asian elephants are considered endangered. Threats include: trophy hunting, a loss of habitat, and poaching for their ivory tusks and meat. It is estimated that 100 African elephants are poached each day.

All activities will run from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with proceeds benefiting elephant conservation efforts. For more information, call the Zoo at 414.256.5466.

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