Granby Zoo just got a little bit bigger.
The zoo, located about 90 km outside of Montreal, welcomed Thandi, a 28-year-old African elephant from the Pittsburgh Zoo’s International Conservation Center.
Thandi, who has an “excellent genetic background,” according to the zoo’s press release, was brought on to breed with Tutume, Granby’s 20-year-old male elephant.
“The Zoo de Granby is very proud to have been selected among other institutions to welcome this elephant, and has worked in close collaboration with the team of the Pittsburgh Zoo for several months to prepare for the arrival of Thandi,” reads the release.
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Reproduction is important for African elephants because their situation is precarious in nature. According to the zoo, it is estimated that more elephants are killed by poaching than there are births in this species.
The IUCN (The International Union for the Conservation of Nature) estimates that there are still between 420,000 and 650,000 elephants from Africa in the wild. There were nearly 20 million at the beginning of the 20th century.
Along with Tutume, Thandi will also be joining Sarah, a 36-year-old female.
For the time being, the elephant is staying in a separate area under observation of the zoo’s Animal Care unit, in collaboration with two staff members of the Pittsburgh Zoo who accompanied Thandi’s trip north.
If everything goes well, guests will be able to visit Thandi in an outdoor habitat “within the next few weeks.”
Until then, visitors can see Sarah and Tutume in their outdoor habitat in the African Continent sector of the zoo every weekend during autumn, until November 3.