He’s 9,000 Pounds—Come Say Hi!
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is the epicenter of our worldwide efforts to save endangered elephants. Here, we have the honor of caring for one of the largest herds of African elephants in North America. They’re the heartbeat of our collaborative conservation work, which takes place through our Savanna Conservation Hub. We’re thrilled that Musi has rejoined the herd!
While he’s known as “Musi,” his full name is Vus’musi, which means “to build a family” in Siswati. Born at the Safari Park in 2004 to mom Ndlulamitsi, better known as “Ndula,” Musi is familiar with all of the Park elephants except Umzula–zuli (“Zuli”) and Mkhaya. Wildlife care specialists took great care to prepare the habitat with some of Musi’s scents, so the herd could anticipate his arrival. Elephants rely heavily on scent for communication, so these smells signal upcoming change, and that a new elephant is in the area. As an adult male elephant, Musi will play a valued role as a mentor to Zuli.
As part of our ongoing conservation efforts, Musi has returned to the Safari Park on a recommendation from the Species Survival Plan (SSP). This collaborative program recommends breeding pairings for genetic diversity, as we work with partners to secure the future of this endangered species.
Musi’s name reminds us that hope is always on the horizon. As we continue in our commitment to saving endangered elephants and protecting their delicately balanced savanna ecosystems, we’re excited for future generations to have the chance to get to know this majestic elephant. Musi is loved by all of the wildlife care specialists who work with him, and they look forward to watching him settle back in at the Safari Park.