Babe and Sophie Settling In to New Home

October  22, 2013

     Babe and Sophie are settling in, and getting used to their new home in Arkansas. That's the report following the re-location of the Niabi Zoo's two elephants on Monday to the Little Rock Zoo.

     Spokeswoman Susan Altrui  says they can see LIttle Rock's elephant, Zina, but they'll be kept apart for a while.

      " They're in what's called a "howdy situation" where they can see each other but can't actually touch each other yet. That will be a very slow introduction process. Sophie and Babe are pair-bonded - they've been together for many, many years and have a very strong bond. So the introduction to Zina will be tricky and will have to be done carefully."

     Altrui  says the Little Rock Zoo has had elephants since it first opened in the 1920's, and the staff has had a lot of experience caring for older elephants.

     "When they're older we see a lot of things like arthritis and that requires a lot of different management techniques, a lot of focus on encouraging exercise, a lot of attention to diet, attenton to the medical needs of that animal. And I think that had a lot to do with the decision by the Niabi Zoo to send Sophie and Babe to us."

     Babe and Sophie are 38 and 44 years old, respectively.

     She says the elephant barn at the zoo covers 5,000 square feet, and they have a very large outdoor area, plus the zoo is planning to expand the elephant enclosure.  She also encourages everyone to check the Little Rock Zoo's website and facebook page for updates on Babe and Sophie. 

 

(photo of Sophie and Babe at the Little Rock Zoo, courtesy of the zoo)