The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute announced on Monday, November 7 that it has welcomed two female Asian elephants to its family.
The two new residents are Trong Nhi [trong-nEE], a 19-year-old elephant, and her nine-year-old daughter, Nhi Linh [nEE-lin].
The Elephant Trails exhibit at the Zoo now expanded with the pair’s addition to 41-year-old Spike, a male, and four other females, Kamala (47), Swarna (47), Bozie (47), and Maharani (32).
“Trong Nhi and Nhi Linh are not only important social additions to our herd, but also they are key to our efforts to help sustain the Asian elephant population in North America and around the world,” said Brandie Smith, the John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Zoo.
🐘🐘 Special delivery! On Nov. 6 at 8:45 p.m., we welcomed Asian elephant mother Trong Nhi (19) and daughter Nhi Linh (9) into our Zoo family! They hail from @RotterdamZoo and join Spike, Kamala, Maharani, Swarna and Bozie at Elephant Trails. ✏️ MORE: https://t.co/UQMGFlcJ03. pic.twitter.com/TNfLBnvabL
— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) November 7, 2022
Asian elephants are an endangered species, which makes it highly unlikely for most people to see them in their native countries, according to Smith.
“However, they can observe our ambassador elephants here at the Zoo, learn about them and join our conservation efforts to protect and save this species in the wild,” she added.
Trong Nhi and Nhi Linh were moved to DC from the Rotterdam Zoo in South Holland, Netherlands. They arrived on a 3,703-mile trans-Atlantic flight to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York through Belgium.
An animal care team from the National Zoo welcomed the elephants in New York and escorted them to the District.
The number of Asian elephants, which are native to 13 countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia, are constantly dropping due to various reasons such as habitat loss and poaching.
The current estimated population of the species is between 30,000 and 50,000.