Elephant Name Game

Guest blogger, Interpretive Media Intern, Crissi Lanier:

When visiting the Zoo, one of the most popular animals, and certainly one of the most recognizable, is the elephant. I always know when I’m close since I can see and hear them, and sometimes even smell them.

If you’re like me, you’ve always wondered which elephant is which.  A friend that graduated from the Zoo Academy always challenged me to correctly name each elephant. Since I was always wrong, she gave me a few clues to help me tell the difference.

The easiest elephant to pick out is Sabu. He’s the only male (bull) elephant and has long white tusks. Sabu hangs out by himself in the side yard except when he and Jati, the youngest female, are paired for breeding.
Sabu-Crissi Lanier
Sabu (Photo: Crissi Lanier)

Female elephants live together in a social herd and you will find our three ladies together in the large yard off the main Zoo path. They are Jati, Schottzie and Mai Thai.

Elephant girls-Photo:Crissi Lanier
Can you tell which is which? (Photo: Crissi Lanier)
Jati is the easiest of the females to identify with the reddish hair on top of her head. She also is the smallest of the elephants. Occasionally, she may be found with Sabu as they are the Zoo’s breeding pair.
Jati (Photo: Crissi Lanier)
Schottzie is the largest of the females, weighing nearly 10,000 pounds! She is also the tallest. Schottzie has the most freckling and lighter coloring, especially on her trunk, ears and the front of her body.
Schottzie (Photo: Crissi Lanier)
Mai Thai is about 9,000 pounds and is the middle-sized elephant. She is mostly brown-grey with small sections of lighter coloring and freckles around her eyes, the edges of her ears and on her trunk. If you look closely, you can see a hole in her left ear. She is also missing the hairy tip of her tail.
Mai Thai-Crissi Lanier
Mai Thai (Photo: Crissi Lanier)
Next time you come to the Zoo, make sure you stop by to say hello to the elephants and challenge your friends and family to pick out which elephant is which. Now YOU know the inside tips!