Toledo Zoo

Ajani, a 23-year-old elephant bull, joins Toledo Zoo’s Tembo Trail. PHOTO COURTESY OF TOLEDO ZOO

Toledo Zoo Welcomes African Elephant Ajani To The Herd

The Toledo Zoo is thrilled to announce the addition of Ajani, a 23-year-old male African elephant, to its renowned Tembo Trail. Ajani, classified as an elephant bull, brings with him a captivating presence that is sure to charm visitors.

Ajani’s arrival at the Toledo Zoo signifies a significant milestone in the zoo’s ongoing commitment to conservation and providing exceptional care for its animal residents. Ajani will serve as an ambassador for his species, along with the zoo’s other elephants, Twiggy and Renee. Together, they will raise awareness about the importance of protecting African elephants and their habitats. 

Ajani’s arrival serves a dual purpose, combining social enhancement and potential breeding considerations at the Toledo Zoo. This decision is a strategic step that not only benefits Ajani’s well-being but also aligns with a broader plan for African elephant management. 

Tembo Trail, the state-of-the-art exhibit that replicates the African savanna, will offer Ajani a spacious and enriching environment that closely resembles his natural habitat. Visitors will have the opportunity to observe Ajani up close, learning about his behaviors, social dynamics and the challenges African elephants face in the wild.

“Our herd will be growing from two to four elephants in less than a year with the addition of Ajani and Renee’s calf. Toledo Zoo is doing its part to fulfill the mission to inspire the community and get people excited for this new journey. We’re looking forward to sharing this experience with everyone as the elephants get to know each other and live cohesively in a more natural social situation,” said Michael Frushour, curator of mammals for the Toledo Zoo.

Upon arriving at the zoo, there will be a supervised introduction process for Ajani to get him acclimated to the exhibit and other elephants. Based on his previous experiences with females and young elephants, the zoo team is confident he will get along with the other members of the herd, including Renee’s soon-to-be-born calf, expected to arrive in spring 2024.

African elephants (Loxo-donta Africana) are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The species is the largest living terrestrial animal and is found across much of sub-Saharan Africa, but its populations are becoming increasingly fragmented.

Ajani was born at the Indianapolis Zoo, moved to the Birmingham Zoo in 2011 and the Sedgwick County Zoo in 2018. He is 9.5 feet tall and weighs 11,710 pounds. His relocation opens space at Sedgwick County Zoo, enabling the movement of another male, crucial for genetic diversity and population sustainability.

The Toledo Zoo extends a warm welcome to Ajani and invites everyone to come and experience the incredible presence of this magnificent African elephant at the Toledo Zoo’s Tembo Trail. Witness firsthand the extraordinary beauty and intelligence of these majestic creatures, and join the mission to conserve and protect wildlife for future generations.

Ajani will be arriving in early fall. Also this fall, guests can experience the zoo’s Harvest Fest. Event details can be found at https://toledozoo.org/events. 

For more information about the Toledo Zoo and its elephants, visit https://toledozoo.org/.

Visit the Toledo Zoo’s website, www.toledozoo.org, or call (419) 385-4040 for more information about these and other upcoming events.