The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is comprised of caring, trusted experts committed to ensuring that elephants are part of the world’s future.
Through our conservation, education and research programs, elephants in our care play an essential role in the survival of the species in the wild. AZA advocates on behalf of elephants with a unified and consistent voice, and collaborates with others committed to the long-term survival of elephants.
It's A Girl!
Congratulations to the St. Louis Zoo and their new addition to the elephant family. Here is mom with 3 day old calf.
Five AZA Elephant Success Stories for 2005
AZA zoo directors endorsed an aggressive new vision that focuses on ensuring elephants are part of the world's future. The commitment highlights plans for increased support for programs that aid in the conservation of elephants in Africa and Asia. Last year, AZA-accredited zoos supported over 80 elephant-related conservation and associated research and educational projects.
It's a boy -- and another boy, and a girl! AZA accredited zoos welcomed three, 200+/-pound African elephant bundles of joy in late 2005. Two of these baby elephants were conceived by an artificial insemination process developed as a direct result of research conducted by veterinarians and elephant specialists. The new elephant babies are at the Indianapolis Zoo in Indianapolis, Indiana; Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Fla.; and Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Fla. Both Indianapolis and Disney's Animal Kingdom have celebrated elephant births over the past five years, while Lowry Park Zoo's elephant habitat is only 2 years old!
A 2005 survey of the 78 AZA accredited zoos with elephants showed that 40 zoos plan to expand or build new elephant exhibits in the next five years. Project development and building are already underway in many cases. Building or expanding habitats demonstrates the enormous commitment zoos are making for their elephants, while ensuring that people will have the opportunity to see and experience elephants in excellent facilities in North America.
The Houston Zoo and the International Elephant Foundation (IEF) sponsored a first of its kind workshop in Houston targeting a major health threat to the world's Asian elephant population. The International Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus (EEHV) Workshop brought together some of the world's foremost veterinarians, virologists, pathologists, researchers, biologists, and conservationists from Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. The two days of discussions aided the creation of eleven projects designed to expand research and improve treatment and prevention methods.
The AZA and the International Elephant Foundation (IEF) created a new partnership to help identify and fund critical conservation and research to serve both the African and Asian species. This comes at a time when both elephant populations are in crisis, continuing to decline in the wild due largely to human encroachment, habitat loss, and poaching. In 2005-2006, IEF awarded grants totaling $110,000 to elephant conservation projects worldwide, including projects developed and/or supported by AZA zoos. An additional $50,000 was designated for the Sumatra Conservation Response Units (CRU) project and Endotheliotropic Elephant Herpes Virus (EEHV) research.