Shenga, the newest African elephant to come to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo since 1997, arrived safely today from Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, and got the first look at her new home, African Elephant Crossing.
Shenga was transported over the road from Nebraska to Cleveland in a specially equipped tractor-trailer. A curator and an animal care manager from Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo accompanied her on the trip and will stay in Cleveland for the next few days to help her acclimate.
"We're very excited to have Shenga here with us," said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo General Curator Geoffrey Hall. "She's a very social animal and her keepers in Omaha really wanted to make sure her new home would afford her with opportunities to socialize with other elephants."
The transfer to Cleveland was recommended by the African Elephant Species Survival Plan Committee of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Shenga had been at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo since 2003. Her elderly exhibit mate died late last year, and keepers there knew the best thing for Shenga would be to move her to an exhibit with companions.
Shenga is approximately 28 years old and weighs about 7,900 pounds.
Shenga will spend the next few weeks getting used to her new surroundings and keepers before she is introduced to the Zoo's three other female elephants, Martika, Moshi and Jo.
As the Zoo's largest capital project since the opening of The RainForest in 1992, African Elephant Crossing's $25 million represents a long-term investment in the Zoo's commitment to improving the future for endangered elephants. The exhibit opens to the public on May 5.