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MARA LODGES, KENYA - DECEMBER 20: A male elephant grazes on December 20, 2020 in plains of the Mara North Conservancy, Kenya. Conservation efforts here have long derived funding from international visitors who go on safari and stay in high-priced lodges in the reserve. The covid-19 pandemic has dramatically reduced the number of foreign tourists, forcing hotels and lodges to close and for the Kenyan government to set aside a recovery fund for area businesses and conservation. (Photo by Siegfried Modola/Getty Images)

Meet Louie the newest elephant at the NC Zoo. The North Carolina Zoo has welcomed a new elephant to the family. Louie is an 18-year old African Elephant who came to the zoo from Omaha Zoo in Nebraska! Louie currently weighs around 8,000 lbs and is expected to continue to grow through the age of 25. African elephants have a lifespan of around 60 years. Hopefully, he will have many happy years in the NC Zoo. The Zoo hopes to mate Louie with a female once he has been accepted into the herd. African Elephants are listed as a vulernable species. This means that they are subject to becoming endangered. The greatest threats to the species are poaching and habitat loss.

A few fun facts about African Elephants:

  • They are herbivores
  • African Elephants can weigh up to 11,000 lbs
  • Their trunk is a modified upper lip and nose, consisting of 40,000 muscles (the human body contains around 650).
  • Some communication is done through infrasound (too low to heard by people) that is detected through the elephant’s feet.
  • The tusks are modified teeth (incisors).
  • Elephant babies can weigh over 200 pounds at birth.
  • Their closest living relatives are manatees, dugongs, and hyraxes.

Source The NC Zoo

Want to see Louie the newest elephant at the NC Zoo?

The NC Zoo is located in Asheboro, NC about an hour to an hour and a half from Charlotte depending on where you are. They are currently open daily 9 am-4 pm. Reservations are required. The Zoo offers general admission tickets for adults $15 (13-61), seniors $13 (62+), and children $11 (2-12). Children under the age of 2 are free but must also have a reservation for entry. Masks are recommended for those who are not vaccinated and required when on the giraffe deck.

Visit https://www.nczoo.org/