Elephants make debut at Omaha zoo

Posted at 12:43 PM, Apr 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-06 15:55:38-04

The public finally got there first look at the newest residents at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo.

Five of the six elephants were available to be seen for the first time by the public Wednesday morning. By 11 a.m. there were long lines with dozens, if not hundreds, of people lined up to get their first glimpse.

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All five of the females, including a mother and daughter, were on display Wednesday. Zoo officials say the male elephant is recovering from a swollen ankle but expected to make a full recovery. They said they will likely keep him on rest for another month or so out of an abundance of caution. 

The elephants have been in Omaha for about a month after arriving from Swaziland, Africa. Officials at the zoo say that they are eager to name the elephants and will work with both zookeepers and donors to name them in the next week or two.

The zoo is expecting big crowds this weekend and will be staffed up to handle extra traffic congestion and potential lines at the exhibit.

Meet the elephants (information from Henry Doorly Zoo):

The largest of the elephants - weighs about 6,000 pounds and is the matriarch of the group, Her daughter is almost always by her side. She love exploring the ports in the enrichment walls and even uses her trunk to attempt to make the doors fall open before scheduled. 

A young female - has a very noticeable wrinkle on her forehead. She really enjoys spending time with the other younger elephants in the group. She weighs around 2,600 pounds.

A female - is very timid and sweet girl. She is very attentive to the keepers and seems to really enjoy interacting with with the people around her. She is the second largest in the group and weighs around 5,000 pounds.

The bull - is very spunky and likes to remind the keeper staff that he is a big man in the making. He very much likes to interact with the females at the gates. He also loves to tear up browse (tree branches). He weighs about 2,600 pounds but behaves as if he weighs 10,000 pounds.

The third largest elephant - weighs about 3,100 pounds. When she can, she likes to assert herself on the smaller elephants, she may be a matriarch in the making.

The smallest female - weighs around 2,600 pounds. She is a very sweet girl who is still coming out of her shell. She seems to enjoy time spent with the other younger girls, but is also bonded with the bull.