OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Visitors to the Oklahoma City Zoo will soon be able to see a new member of the family.
Officials say Bowie, a 9-year-old Asian male elephant, is joining the Oklahoma City herd from the Fort Worth Zoo.
“Of course, we’re sad to see Bowie leave the herd, but we knew this day would eventually come,” said Fort Worth Zoo Executive Director Michael Fouraker. “We very carefully considered herds around the country and because of Oklahoma City Zoo’s tenured program and Asian elephant breeding success, we feel confident he’s in the best place. It’s exciting to know that as a bull elephant, he’ll be introduced to a new group of genetically diverse females and hopefully contribute to this declining population of critically endangered animals. All of us at the Fort Worth Zoo are excited for Bowie’s new adventure!”
Bowie stands over 8 feet tall and weighs more than 6,400 pounds. He loves to play in the water and can be seen swimming almost any time of the year.
“Although the elephant caretaker team is still mourning the recent loss of Bamboo, we are very excited about Bowie’s arrival,” said Rachel Emory, the OKC Zoo’s curator of elephants and rhinos. “We have been working closely with the Species Survival Plan® (SSP) for Asian elephants for the last year on Bowie’s relocation and are excited to welcome him. We have watched our young female elephants grow up here at the OKC Zoo and are thrilled at the prospect of them having calves of their own and grow our herd.”
Zoo organizers say Bowie will slowly be introduced to the herd. Guests may be able to see Bowie soon, depending on his level of comfort and the weather.
The Oklahoma City Zoo is home to a multi-generational herd of seven Asian elephants.