Meet the Herd.
Most elephant herds are matriarchal, meaning that there is one dominant female that leads the family. Our herd is unique because we have a circular dominance structure, meaning all 3 adult females have dominance over another elephant in the herd.
Ellie is the oldest and largest female at 39 years old. The animal care team describe her as very smart and note that she really enjoys bananas.
Matjeka is the mother of young, Mavi. How can you easily identify Matjeka? Look at the tail! Her tail hair touches the ground. She is also the most vocal of the herd. Mavi, born in 2011, is growing into a confident elephant. She loves learning new behaviors from the animal care team and picks up on them quickly!
Mbali is the smallest adult in the herd. Her name means “pretty flower” and she is the mother of young Mpumi. She is a very “hands-on” mother to her little girl. Mpumi is a big fan of the water in the habitat. You can usually find her splashing around on the warmer Florida days – sometimes with her sister!
Rounding out the herd is our male, Sdudla. He is easily identifiable as the biggest elephant in the herd, weighing in around 10,000 lbs.! He is the father of both Mpumi and Mavi and enjoys playing with the large logs in his habitat.