Sedgwick County Zoo elephants now have names
The six new elephants at the Sedgwick County Zoo now have names.
They will be called Simunye, Titan, Arusi, Zuberi, Xolani and Talia. The names were chosen by the elephants’ new keepers.
“They tried to stick to African names,” said Sedgwick County spokeswoman Melissa Graham. The elephants were shipped from Swaziland in southeast Africa to the United States last month.
The zoo is doing genetic testing to confirm some familial connections they suspect based on information from wildlife officials from Swaziland.
“We want to make sure before we make an announcement,” Graham said.
But they know for certain that the oldest elephant is a mother to a male elephant.
Here are the six new zoo residents, according to a zoo news release:
▪ Simunye (pronounced sim-un-ya): An 18- to 20-year-old female whose name means “we are one.”
▪ Titan: A 6- to 7-year-old male whose name means “defender.” He’s the son of Simunye.
▪ Arusi (uh-ROO-see): A 6- to 7-year-old female elephant whose name means “the sun” or “born at the wedding time.”
▪ Zuberi (zuw-Beh-Riy): A 7- to 8-year-old female whose name means “strong.”
▪ Xolani (zo-Lani): A 6- to 7-year old female whose name means “peace.”
▪ Talia (ta-lia): A 6- to 7-year old female whose name means “dew of heaven.”
Graham said the elephants have been adjusting well to their new home.
“We’ve been keeping an eye for that and at this point, everything seems to be going very, very smoothly,” Graham said.
The new elephants have been slowly introduced to Stephanie, the zoo’s longtime elephant. Graham said they’ve “had trunk-to-trunk contact but that’s about it at this point.”
Members of the Sedgwick County Zoo can get a sneak preview of the Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley exhibit from May 11 through May 13. The tour will go throughout the exhibit and to the elephant barn.
“We’re hoping that the elephants will be out in the yards so there won’t be a ton to see in the barn,” Graham said. “It’s not like a special guided tour or anything. You’ll meander at your own pace.”
The grand opening ceremony for the new elephant exhibit is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. May 27, which is the start of Memorial Day weekend.