Tina and Jewel Update

Posted at 2:59 pm October 8, 2010 by Ron Ringer

Tina and Jewel when they first came to us in August 2009

I thought I would share some thoughts with you all concerning our wonderful pair of elephants, Tina and Jewel. I have been lucky enough to be a part of their training and care from the time that they arrived at the San Diego Zoo in August 2009. They have done so well since arriving here. Both are thriving, are in great health, and seem to really enjoy their days roaming Elephant Odyssey. I am happy to say that Jewel has completely recovered from all her dental surgeries and can be seen daily doing what she does bestβ€”EATING!Β  She has gained a little over 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms) since she arrived. Yes, 1,000 pounds! She looks so much better than when I first saw her. Tina is also thriving; her weight gain has leveled off, and she, too, is in great shape.

Tina and Jewel today

Both of them have responded well to their new training method, protected contact (a positive reinforcement training system), are quite good at their daily routines, and the vets are able to work around them with no problems. They transfer easily throughout the Elephant Odyssey exhibit complex, and both work very well with all the keepers. We have done some introductions with other elephants here, but neither of them have really had much time to interact fully with the others. Whenever they are apart for short periods of time, they come together and vocalize like a pod of dolphins: lots of squeals, squeaks, and squawks. Try saying that three times quickly!

We are very proud of the progress these two have made since joining our group of elephants. I can say without a doubt that they are in far better shape now than when they arrived over a year ago. It has been a real pleasure helping them enter this new phase in their lives.

Ron Ringer is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo. Read his previous post, Elephant Introductions Continue.

Correction: This blog was attributed in error to Rod Owlett, an animal care manager at the Zoo. Our apologies to Ron Ringer! Rod thanks everyone for your interest in the elephants here at the San Diego Zoo and your thoughtful and caring responses to our blogs.

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83 Responses to “Tina and Jewel Update”

  1. Karen of Chandler says:

    Thank you for the update on Tina & Jewel. I love watching the elephants play and also when they play in the water. In fact I like looking at the panda cam, the polar bear cam and the ape cam also.

  2. Sherie says:

    What a sweet update, Rod. Thank you so much for your love and dedication to Tina and Jewel. It warms my heart to hear of how they are not only improving but thriving.

  3. Kat says:

    THANK YOU ROD!!!! I have been waiting for their updates. You guys have done an AMAZING job with thier care, it really shows in the pictures. I’m sure Tina and Jewel think you guys “Rock”!!! Love – Love – Love watching the little ones play, they are adorable! Keep us posted! From Vegas…

  4. Susan B says:

    I watch the elephant cam every day!! I LOVE it! The other day I was watching two elephants entwining trunks and acting VERY lovey dovey with each other. Was that a male and a female or these two elephants, Tina and Jewel? I WANT to say Selma and Louise~~~~~~LOL!! Keep up the FANTASTIC camera action! I LOVE watching the babies play with each other!

  5. Shirley Sykes says:

    Rod, thank you so much for your update on our two lovely “refugees.” I have seen them so often together and often vocalizing just as you said, wonderful to listen to! It’s getting harder to tell the two apart, now that Jewel has gained much-needed weight and no longer looks like a concentration camp survivor. The USDA chose well when they sent them to our zoo, and you and the whole team deserve an award!!

  6. Dianna from Ohio says:

    Thanks Rod for the update. I made sure that I visited Tina and Jewel when I came out for the Black & White Overnight. I had read about them and wanted to see them “live” πŸ™‚

    I would like to hear more about Protected Contact training… How does that work.. I know about positive reinforcement training.. how is this different? Thanks for the info!

  7. Becky says:

    Thank you for this update. I have wondered about them and hoped they were doing well. I may get out to see them in a few weeks. Elephants are such magnificant creatures! Do you suppose either of these two girls will ever become moms??? Just wondering.

  8. kathy says:

    before elephant rush on oct 8th i was watching via cam aan elephant raise her foot through a fence where an attendant was doing something with her foot. is this the kind of training you are reffering to. thanks for the many hours i have spent with the elephants and the polar bears

    Editor’s Note: Our keepers clean and file our elephants’ feet every day through the bars of their enclosure, something we refer to as “Protected Contact” training. In the case of the elephants, one keeper does the filing and cleaning while the other dishes out positive reinforcement in the form of edible treats.

  9. kittycat says:

    congratulations tina and jewel!!!!!

  10. Don Stillwell says:

    It looks as if something is terribly wrong with the trunk of Tina or Jewel when they arrived in 2009. Looks quite bloated with something like fingers covering most of the face. Was this a result of the dental problems she had when she arrived?

  11. Bernice in the Yukon says:

    Thank You for the update…I have been wondering how Tina and Jewel were doing…I love watching the ‘elephant rush’…I also watch the elephants at 7 in the morning before I go to work…those calfs are just so cute…thank you for the care of these fabulous animals…elephants could teach us humans a lot about ‘family.’

  12. Dianne in Texas says:

    It’s wonderful to read of the role SDZ has in the recovery of animals like these, who were taken from a obviously dire situation. Would that Queenie could also have been rescued….

    Thanks to all you for all the love and care given to the animals in SDZ. One of these days I will make it out there to see for myself, in person!

  13. Chari Mercier says:

    Hey, Rod! Thanks for your latest update about Tina and Jewel! It was very informative, and I am very glad that they are really doing very well since they got to SDZ a year ago from Texas. Jewel gaining 1,000 pounds??? That is awesome for her!! I’m sure that she feels a whole lot better now, too! I’m glad that her dental work is finally finished so that she can really enjoy all of the food that you give her everyday. You didn’t really mention how much weight gain Tina had, tho. I’m sure that she gained a huge amount of weight herself! Hope that you all can really work with Tina and Jewel in getting to know the other ellies at EO very soon. I think that Tina and Jewel will feel much better being in a big herd of ellies and interacting with the other ellies as they do in the wild. Have fun with them! Keep us updated about Tina and Jewel as much as possible, especially when they are really with the rest of the EO ellies.

    Gonna go for now. Will check the ellie cam later on to see how the calves are doing.

    Chari Mercier πŸ™‚

    St. Pete, FL

  14. Adam Hill says:

    I am glad Tina & Jewell are doing so well Give them a pat for me. Adam

  15. Lynn from Alberta says:

    What a wonderful job you do with all the ellies!! I thoroughly enjoy your updates and I have a particular ‘love’ for Tina and Jewel, considering their state when they arrived … thank you for what you do!

    The more info we have about your … and the ellies … everyday activities, the better!!

  16. Miss Pat says:

    Thank you so much for the update on Jewel and Tina. I love my elephant cam at 1:45pm St. Louis time I
    need to get my fix on my Elephant’s, and when the gate opens up I just smile and my day is okay. I was
    watching Oprah last week and she had stories on animals, Kristen Davis was in Africa at the David
    Sheldrickwildlifetrust (dot) com. thats the site (if you go there it is something to see and read and cry). She was
    going to watch a little elephant who had lost his MOM was captured and taken to the santuary for safety and
    now the little was safe and happy.
    Again thank you so very much for all the work the keepers do
    p.s. I call my sister in Spring Valley………she does not have a computer hahaha!!!!! and tell her what the
    elephants are doing.

    Thank again Miss Pat

  17. AB says:

    Great job with the girls!

    To everyone who watches the Elephant Cam: Tina and Jewel are ASIAN elephants. The Elephant Cam is on the AFRICAN elephants!!!

  18. Elephant Care Team says:

    #10 Don

    We can assure everyone that neither elephant had any trunk issues. After consulting each other, the only thing that we could come up with is that both elephants love to cover themselves in mud and maybe that gave the appearance of one of them having trunk issues. There was no bloating of either individual, and both elephants were quite cooperative, considering having just traveled cross country and entered their new home with new care takers. Tina and Jewel are carrying good weight, and any foot issues that they had have been resolved. We do appreciate everyone’s interest where are elephants are concerned.

  19. Louise says:

    I am thrilled to see the picture of Tina and Jewell looking so healthy. Great work, everyone! Someday maybe we can get a short video of their vocalizations to each other.

  20. cindy in KC says:

    around noon pdt- I saw all the ellie’s running as fast as they could up to the upper yard as if they knew what time it was or saw a keeper or something. do they have training at that time or was it a lark? Umoya and Emanti was gaited off from the rest of the herd.

    Moderator’s note: There must have been something happening there that caught their interest.

  21. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi, you all! Well, I got on the elliecam last nite (still daylight in Cal), and I had a hilarious time watching at least 6 ellies in that big pool just having a good ole time splashing around in it. 3 of the ellies were the smaller calves, and they were just loving it in there! They were all rolling around in the water, sitting in it, using their trunks as snorkels when they did their elephant underwater manuever, splashing water on themselves, blowing water out of their trunks, just having the best time in there! The little calves were the funniest of all of them! These ellies just loved being in that pool!

    Gonna go but will be back later on.

    Chari Mercier πŸ™‚

    St. Pete, FL

  22. Don Stillwell says:

    Back on June 17, 2009, Emily Rothwell wrote a blog called Sleeping Giants which shows a picture of Swazi taking a nap. It is very informative and shows that elephants lay down a great deal, especially at night. On occasion, when visiting the park I have seen several of the elephants lay down, including Mabu. Anyone that has wondered about the sleeping habits of the African elephant would thoroughly enjoy this well-written blog.

  23. Chari Mercier says:

    I was just on the elliecam, and I just saw one of the adult ellies have her poop time! She built up a very nice pile of ellie poop for the keepers to pick up in the morning! My question is this: when the keepers pick up all of the ellie poop, what do they do with it? Do they do analysis and research with the poop, do they put the poop in the composte pile, or just throw the whole mess out? Wondering brain wants to know! Unfortunately, I didn’t know the ellie’s name that dropped all of that poop! Other than that awesome display, all of the ellies were just roaming around, eating grass and hay, and just enjoying the late California sun. BTW, yesterday when I was watching the ellies in the pool, one lone mule deer walked right into cam view up close. Cute little guy, too!
    Well, that’s my crazy question of the month! Gonna go back to the cams and check the animals out again!
    Chari Mercier πŸ™‚
    St. Pete, FL

    Moderator’s note: Most of the considerable amount of manure keepers collect each day is taken to a local landfill, where it is composted.

  24. Val says:

    So thankful for the love and care of these two special girls. Great to hear of their good health and habits. Having met them in unhappier times, (yes, I went to the circus years ago before I knew….now I am working against them in every little way I can…) I too have a special place in my heart for T and J. Thanks for the update and please also give them a pat for me each too- if only they knew how many of us love them ! πŸ˜‰ Now to check how Boo is… ! hopefully at least better than previously…

  25. Linda Andrae says:

    I’ve been watching the camera a great deal, and I am wondering if the little one the camera is on now is okay, or may have a belly ache. He appears to be trying to relieve pressure on his belly by laying across the dirt pile. He got up but then got back down on the dirt. I am a horse owner and the behavior is very similar to a horse with colic, he just doesn’t seem comfortable. Hopefully, it is my imagination and he’s just having a good time.

    Moderator’s note: Your question has been forwarded to our Elephant Team.

  26. Don Stillwell says:

    Re 25, Linda, baby elephants love to play in a pile of dirt. In fact, adult elephants and teenagers love to play in soft dirt, laying, rolling, playing. Mabu does his fair share. In fact, the keepers quite regularly make a couple of piles of soft dirt for the elephant’s enrichment. What is especially fun is when 3 little ones all decide to play with each other in a soft pile of dirt.

  27. Marie says:

    I was watching the ellie cam last evening and two of the “teenage” ellies having fun in the dirt! Then the babies were having a blast. I also saw 2 of the bigger ellies doing something interesting (to me anyway). The bigger one was walking toward a smaller one (although it wasn’t a baby) with her trunk out towrds the other ellie and the smaller one was walking backwards. Then the bigger one stopped and the other one kept walking backwards,a sof to get away from her. Do you know if it was a mother ellie trying to “reprimand” her child or were they playing a game? I wish I could tell them apart, but it’s too hard. I only recognize papa.

  28. Laura says:

    Did anyone watch what happened on the cam just now (3:32 est)?

  29. Jan in Richmond, VA says:

    Laura..what happened? Details.

  30. Laura says:

    Sorry, it’s hard to describe the action without humanizing it, but the cam operator followed it perfectly.

    Moderator: Is an archive made of the cam footage?

    Moderator’s note: Not from this camera. You sure have me curious!

  31. cindy in KC says:

    8am pdt– watching the keepers feed the ellie’s peanuts maybe out of buckets and tossing them on the ground to the little guys who cant reach up to the fence. The workers are ‘giving’ them to them in their trunks. :0

    Moderator’s note: Those are herbivore biscuits, which the elephants find quite tasty πŸ˜‰

  32. Dianna from Ohio says:

    #27 Marie: The walking backwards thing… I had read in an earlier blog that it’s a hierarchial thing…. it was about Swazi and baby Emanti learning that Swazi is Queen B elephant… It was a blog prior to his name blog…

    I have a hard time telling who is who as well….

    Moderator’s note: Here’s the blog, Elephant Manners.

  33. Marie says:

    Lotsa deer in the ellie yard right now. Up ’til now I’d only ever seen one, but tonight I’ve counted 6. One of the baby ellies is having a blast chasing them. πŸ™‚

  34. Michelle from Buffalo, NY says:

    seems like the elle’s prefer the browse that is put out for the rush, they seem to go right past the hay and run to claim their spot at a browse pile

  35. Adrienne says:

    Can you tell me about the construction that is going on please?

    Moderator’s note: We are creating a passageway to link the two large elephant yards at the Park. We hope to have a blog about the progress soon.

  36. Karen in Edmonton AB Canada says:

    Thanks for the update. I love watching all the cams set up. Do you think the other elephants will harm the girls when they are all together? I remember watching the video of their big weigh in when they first arrived.

    Thanks again. Are the elephants distrubed by the noise of the construction?

  37. Don Stillwell says:

    After 2.66 inches of rain yesterday in Escondido, the most in San Diego County, it’s nice to see the sun shining at the Wild Animal Park today.

  38. Adrienne says:

    So am I did hate to see them in all that rain and mud !

  39. Don Stillwell says:

    Re: 36 Karen. You seem to be missing some information. There is only one elephant, M’Sholo, a male, in the yard being connected to. When the construction is completed, the current herd of female adults, teenagers, and babies will be able to visit the other yard and meet M’Sholo. Mabu will remain in the current yard. If you read the blog about naming Emanti, Moya’s calf, and the comments that followed, you will learn that Swazi, Moya, Samba, Umngani, Dula, and Lungile were the adult females that arrived with Mabu. On 9-11-2006, Khosi was born, followed by Punga on 3-11-2007, and Kami on 9-17-2007. Umngani then had Ingadze on 3-13-2009 and the last 3 boys were 2-14-2010, Looty, 4-12-2010, Macambay, and 5-12-2010, Emanti. Dula had Moose on 2-23-2004 and Moose, therefore, is not related to Mabu. This is 6 adult females, Moose, and 7 calves for a total of 14 plus the 2 adult males for a total of 16 African elephants at the Wild Animal Park.

  40. Julia says:

    for days that the weather is rainy … that makes the elephants are sad? I get that impression πŸ™

    Moderator’s note: On rainy days, our elephants have access to their warm, dry barn. They can choose where they want to be, outdoors or indoors.

  41. HollyMag says:

    Thanks for the update! I just found it. I had been wondering about Tina and Jewel since I “met” them in July when I was at the park.

  42. Don Stillwell says:

    For the record and #41. Tina and Jewel are at the Zoo. 16 African elephants are at the Park (whether you call it Safari or Wild Animal)!

  43. cindy in KC says:

    7am pst– one ellie has crossed their back foot a bit to get it off the ground and rest it on another one. Is there a sore toe or a footpad? πŸ™

    Moderator’s note: Elephants often rest that way; I’m sure all is fine.

  44. Jeslyn in San diego says:

    Why is it some times their pool is drained for several days? I love it when they are all romping in the water!

    Moderator’s note: The pools are drained for cleaning.

  45. deb says:

    I know this is an elephant blog but I couldn’t find any recent blogs for the hippos at SD Zoo. This is a must see for all fans of Otis the hippo.

    dailymail (dot) co (dot) uk/news/article-1323505/Its-happy-potamus-Grinning-hippo-poses-zoo-goers-snaps.html

    Moderator’s note: It got a laugh out of me πŸ˜‰

  46. Dianna from Ohio says:

    #45 deb and Moderator: how cute!! Hippos don’t normally get along together? My big question however is… just how cold was it at SDZ on that date??? Those folks had heavy jackets on!! πŸ™‚

  47. Marie says:

    Someone needs to wipe the camera lens. It looks like there are ghosts in the ellie yard.

    Moderator’s note: Part of the Park’s Creepy Crawly Festival?
    πŸ˜‰

  48. Marie says:

    Ah Moderator, I didn’t think of that. Did they put that white stuff around the camera? Looks like ghosts. Spoooky. πŸ˜‰ Perhaps the ghosts of ellies past will visit.

  49. Adrienne says:

    Do the ellies get hurt when playing ? sometimes is seems they are really going head to toe !

    Moderator’s note: It’s just part of learning to be an elephant!

  50. Adrienne says:

    Just one more question ?? when will the pool be open ?

  51. Marie says:

    How many calves are due next year and do you know which months?

    Moderator’s note: Litsemba is due in January.

  52. Tom says:

    Has Ndula’s right tusk been removed? I don’t seem to see it.

  53. Tom says:

    I just saw that it is shortened.

    Moderator’s note: She has a crooked right tusk that curves behind her trunk.

  54. Marie says:

    Ellie experts, who are the two ellies playing right now… 5:46PM PT? The camera person is doing a fantastic job of followijng them around. I’ve been having a blast watching them the past 10 mins. πŸ™‚

  55. Adrienne says:

    Did I just see a baby ellie eat poop????????????????? it is 8.55pm my time in North Carolina

    Moderator’s note: It’s possible. Young elephants eat poop, which put bacteria in their gut to help with digestion. It’s a very normal behavior (for elephants!) πŸ˜‰

  56. Marie says:

    I took a screencap to help… http://www.flickr.com/photos/greeneyes73/5124241129/

  57. deb says:

    Did I miss the blog or press release? Why are we having to learn about Tina and Jewel’s departure from the LA Times?

    Moderator’s note: Not to worry, we’ll have a blog post later today.

  58. Marie says:

    # 55 Adrienne: Glad I wasn’t the only one, but I figured it had to be mud, not poop. Guess my initial thought was right. Eww, but at least they do so for health reasons.

  59. Don Stillwell says:

    Re: 56. The label on the picture says San Diego Zoo. The elephants at the Zoo are Asian elephants. This is a picture of two baby AFRICAN elephants at the Wild Animal Park. It’s a cute picture, but mislabeled. Am also curious about Tina and Jewel’s departure. The title “Tina and Jewel Update” really requires more information to really have it up to date.

    Moderator’s note: Read our newest post, All-star Home for Tina, Jewel.

  60. east coast marie says:

    We made our trek to San Diego 2 weeks ago and we saw Tina and Jewel, all the African elephants and their babies, and what a blast we had in and out of the pouring rain! We were told Ndula broke her right tusk off and they found the pieces the next day. We also spoke to an elephant keeper at the Zoo and nothing was said about the pending move of J and T, so maybe it was a BIG secret! Hope they will love the green grass and ponds of their new home. The hippos were an unexpected treat, what a bunch of cute and adorable plumpkins. Of course the polar bears were wonderful – just being lazy and so HUGE, and the panda babe was playing with his mom excitedly – how fun, but we missed little Frank the gorilla and the very old tortoise (who ate a plastic camera case and was being monitored). Since it was a bit cold many residents were indoors and were off limits to visitors. Hope we can get that rule changed some day! We promise to be quiet! But to get to see our camcorder “stars” in person was exciting and we enjoyed our interactions with the friendly volunteers and keepers.

  61. Tom says:

    Re: 60. Thank you, Marie. I knew that Ndula’s right tusk was different and shorter. I wonder how she did it?

  62. Julia says:

    Watch the elephants take a drinking water …. why not have more because one is not enough for all πŸ™

  63. deb says:

    As I was watching the young males play in the yard, I thought about a recent article I read on Smithsonian.com (Nov issue of mag) that I thought some of you might be interested in. It is titled ‘How Male Elephants Bond’.
    smithsonianmag (dot) com/science-nature/How-Male-Elephants-Bond.html?c=y&page=1

  64. Kat says:

    Perhaps you can answer my question…I seem to notice this behavior more often in your ellie cam and Africam ellies, it’s when two ellies will come face to face and what looks like a show of affection when both use their trunks to massage each others heads and they both get real close without hurting each other with their trunks. Can you explain more of what this behavior is???

  65. Don Stillwell says:

    Missed the note that the RUSH had been changed to 11:30 p.m. to noon. Watched Lungile come down and have a discussion through the fence with Moose and then the gate opened and the RUSH began. Those 3 little ones sure can move! Swazi’s baby was 268 pounds at birth on April 12, 2010. Dula’s baby is 2 months older, born February 14, 2010. Which is actually largest at this time? Noticed Ingadze was playing with 2 smaller ones and actually got video showing his two tusks! He is 11 months older than Dula’s Looty and 13 months older than Swazi’s Makembay. I expect Mova’s Emanti is still the smallest of the 3, being born last on May 12, 2010. The keeper’s that weigh the trio, separately, of course, have to know. Was a blast watching two of the youngsters have a riding, pushing, shoving, and head-butting contest today!

  66. Don Stillwell says:

    Re: 60 and 61. Dula’s tusks are both the same length. The one that curves under her trunk can only be seen from certain angles. I have video from November 25, 2007, where both tusks can be seen and neither has been shortened in any way. Dula was pregnant with Moose when she arrived at the Wild Animal Park and Moose was born on February 23, 2004. I, personally, do not remember any indication of a tusk problem at that time. Unfortunately, all the video of Moose as a baby has been lost. I have video of Khosi, Punga, and Kami from shortly after birth. Just want you to know the tusk is the same length as the other and I believe that if it were not bent under, she would give Unmgani a run for the money in best looking tusks!

  67. Don Stillwell says:

    Re 65. Checked Meet the Elephants and see no weights listed for any of the youngsters. The July weights have disappeared. 3 months later they must have gained a little weight. Can you share?

    Moderator’s note: The July weights show for me, but I’ll see if we can get some updated weights, as these little guys are growing!

  68. deb says:

    Congrats to Taronga Zoo. Pak Boon gave birth to a bouncing baby girl. Mom and baby are doing fine. I’m sure the staff will be careful not to give her a nickname. Pathi Harn to this day is still referred to as Mr. Shuffles. The following was in the article I read. “Showing early promise to be a high achieving calf, its birth was record-breaking in terms of the speed – as she was nursing within 90 minutes and standing unassisted within three hours.” Because of the long gestation, it really is a happy occasion when an elephant is born healthy.

  69. Don Stillwell says:

    Made a check of weights gained by Khosi and Kami and found the average had been about 1 1/2 pounds per day, or 45 pounds per month. Using this as a starting point and counting the number of months since his birth, 5-12-2010, 5 1/2 months, would mean a gain of about 275 pounds for Emanti. Added to his 220 pound birth weight, this would make 495 pounds. For Mackembay, born 4-12-2010, or 6 1/2 months, would be a gain of about 325 pounds. Added to his birth weight of 268 pounds, he would now be about 595 pounds. Looty, born February 14, 2010, would be 8 1/2 months for 425 pounds and added to his birth weight of 224 pounds, he would weigh 650 pounds now. My guess at current weights are therefore:

    Emanti, 495 pounds; Mackembay, 595 pounds; and Looty, 650 pounds. How does this stack up with their actual current weight? You can see that after I can no longer see the elephants because it is dark, I like to think about WEIGHTY things!

    Moderator’s note: We’ve updated the Meet the Elephants page with October weights on each member of the herd. See how close you were, Don πŸ˜‰

  70. Don Stillwell says:

    Thanks a lot for the October weights. I was low 5 pounds on Emanti, 55 pounds on Mackembay, and 75 pounds on Looty. For the curious, I will show the October weight followed by my guess for each, starting with the youngest: Emanti, 500 vs. 495; Mackembay, 650 vs. 595; and Looty, 715 vs. 650. Boy elephants gain weight faster than girls. I remember when Punga, whose Mom is Samba, started weighing more than Khosi who was 6 months older.

    Moderator’s note: So close on Emanti, Don. I’m impressed!

  71. Don Stillwell says:

    Checked out Ingadze for kicks. Birth weight 225 pounds, born Friday the 13th of March, 2009. In October 2010 he weighs 1265 pounds. Over this long period he has averaged a 50 pound per month weight gain. The 1 1/2 pound per day weight gain seems like a fairly reliable number. By the way, Punga and Khosi are now almost exactly the same weight so both seem to be putting on weight at the same rate and have been almost ever since Punga caught up with Khosi about 2 years ago.

  72. deb says:

    Here are some cute pictures of Tina and Jewel’s future roommate. Billy got to explore some of his new habitat today. (If link is too long just go to LA Zoo’s facebook page. While you are there check out the cute photo of Jabba the hippo (long time resident of San Diego now in LA). I think he heard about Otis’ (sent to SD from LA) newfound fame and wanted to show he was just as cute. It’s a hippo smack down.)

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=564742&id=242124560272

  73. Don Stillwell says:

    Moderator. The only elephant born at the Park that I don’t have a birth weight on is Punga. Do you think you could get me that information? In pounds. Thanks!

    Moderator’s note: I’ll ask.

  74. Marie says:

    # 72 Deb: Aww those pix of Billy are awesome! He looks like such a happy boy! I’m happy that he’s going to have 2 beautiful girls to entertain soon in his splendid new abode. πŸ™‚

  75. Marie says:

    I watched the video the zoo has on their FB page and I was about in tears when he sat down in the waterfall. I don’t know what him to him prior to his coming to the zoo, but I read the words “Horrendous beginning.” That made me sad and I’m even happier for him now that he has caring humans in his life.

  76. Adrienne says:

    Can you give any more information on the construction please ?

    Moderator’s note: Well, it’s progressing nicely.
    πŸ˜‰ What info would you like?

  77. Adrienne says:

    what are you going to make “happen” will it a large area for them to roam and romp?

    is a waterfall in the works” etc, etc πŸ˜‰

    Moderator’s note: The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has two large elephant yards: one houses the 15-member herd of adults and youngsters and the other houses bull elephant Msholo. Current construction is creating a corridor between the two yards, allowing the Elephant Care Team more herd management options. We look forward to its completion!

  78. Adrienne says:

    Thank you for the information πŸ™‚

  79. Laura says:

    The latest update is not on this page, but here is the link for it:

    http://blogarchives.sandiegozoo.org/blog/2010/10/29/all-star-home-for-tina-jewel/#more-10291

    Moderator’s note: The link has been fixed. Thank you, Laura.

  80. Don Stillwell says:

    Re: 66 and 73. While at the Park yesterday, I videotaped Dula and discovered the tusk that went under the trunk has been shortened. Has never been commented on by anyone so figure it hasn’t been very long since it was done. Can someone shed some light on when and why it was done?
    As for #73, was told that Punga’s birth weight was 232 pounds. Still think the birth weights of each of the calves at birth would be of interest to anyone who follows the progress of their growth. Would like to see the weights added to the MEET THE ELEPHANTS page. Do any other followers of the elephants’ progress from birth agree? Now that I have Punga’s birth weight, I have the birth weights of all 7 of the calves of proud Papa Mabu and will gladly provide them.

    Moderator’s note: Ndula broke her right tusk off a few weeks ago (see comment #60).

  81. Don Stillwell says:

    Thanks, Curtis! Got two beautiful items of news from you during your talk to the crowd at the pool viewing area yesterday at the Rush. Umngani is due in October 2011 and the construction into the area housing M’Sholo is scheduled for completion by the end of November!

    Took a lot of footage of Dula’s broken tusk because the explanation in #60 didn’t convince me. The stub that remains is certainly well manicured so polishing of some sort must have gone on since it was broken. Dula stood still for over 15 minutes while shading Looty while he took a nap yesterday in the yard before the Rush and I taped a closeup of the tusk during most of that time. Breaking the curved right tusk from under the trunk while the left tusk was sticking straight out…..Hmmm!

  82. Don Stillwell says:

    Did some math yesterday and with the announcement of Umngani due in October reveals some interesting statistics. Khosi was born 9-11-2006 and Ingadze was born 3-13-2009, a period of 30 months. From 3-13-2009 to October 2011 is also 30 months. Gestation is 22 months, therefore Khosi was 8 months old when Ingadze was born, and Ingadze will be 8 months old when the new calf arrives. This 8 months allows time for the preceding calf to have started eating solid food.

  83. Don Stillwell says:

    Just delivered 14 copies of a DVD with Naming Emanti – Rushes – Construction progress – and about 25 minutes of Closeups of Dula’s shortened tusk from several different angles. Covers 8-26 to 11-12-2010.