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Largest African elephant in the United States

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by polar bear, 12 Nov 2010.

  1. polar bear

    polar bear Well-Known Member

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    Several articles (which are not always reliable) claim that Chico, the African bull at the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler, Texas is the largest elephant currently living in the United States. Does any one know if this is correct and/or what he weighs? I was at the zoo last week but couldn't find anyone to confirm this.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: 23 Sep 2013
  2. Saro

    Saro Well-Known Member

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    Chico is certainly enormous and might very well the biggest elephant in the states - who could be bigger? By the way, I heard he died and I am glad to see that he is well !
     
  3. Dallaspachyderm

    Dallaspachyderm Well-Known Member

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    He is ten feet tall, and weighs 14,500 pounds! I think he deserves a better enclosure...
     
  4. polar bear

    polar bear Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Dallaspachyderm. I remember Chico from the San Diego Wild Animal Park where he resided until 2003. He looks much happier now. At the WAP he was always confined to the bull yards and never let out in the field exhibit. Every now and again they would bring one of the cows in to his yard in hopes of breeding. I was happy to see him enjoying his company in Texas.
     
  5. Dallaspachyderm

    Dallaspachyderm Well-Known Member

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    Do you think that they are trying to breed him with these females? Because at times he is with them (when he is in musth) and then when he is not, he and the females rotate.
     
  6. polar bear

    polar bear Well-Known Member

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    The San Diego Zoo's news release in 2003 stated that Chico was moving to Tyler for breeding purposes. He had 5 calves in the 1980's. Three of the calves survived and are still alive. He was born in 1967, which makes him around 44. All of the females currently at Caldwell Zoo are in their 30's so they can still breed. According to ISIS, these 3 females were at the Caldwell Zoo in 2003 when Chico arrived so it appears that it was Caldwell Zoo's plan to breed Chico with them in 2003. I don't know their current plans, but they may still be hoping to breed if, as you say, they put Chico in with them when he is in musth.
     
  7. Yassa

    Yassa Well-Known Member

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    The females in Caldwell are way too old for a sucessful first birth (and already were too old back in 2003). It was pretty clear from the beginning that Chico would never breed there. Which raises the question why the SSP is wasting a poven breeding bull with just one offspring in the US population in a zoo with no suitable females while there are hardly any (I think just 2 or 3!!) other bulls in the whole country which have ever bred naturally? Sounds like a lot of mismanagement.
     
  8. Dallaspachyderm

    Dallaspachyderm Well-Known Member

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    I just thought of:
    .6 SDSP
    .3 Lowry park
    .3 DAK
    .4 NC
    .2 Toledo
    .2 Indy
    .1 Riddles
    .1 (can't recall the name! another ranch in california)
    .2 Serengeti ranch
    .1 Cheyenne Mountain
    .1 Hogle
    .3 Pittsburgh
    (After a female is bred prior to age 24, she can breed all the way up in her 40's)
    I just thought of nearly thirty!

    with only four of these females pregnant, there should be some selection for at least an AI program. If not transfer some of these females to caldwell! Because he produced five calves (two in china, two dead, and Moja at the pittsburgh zoo with two daughters victoria and Zuri) meaning he is a viable breeder. He needs to spread somemore of his impressive genetics before he passes! He is already the oldest and largest bull in the country. Maybe Caldwell could earn the funds to redo their elephant program if they advertised him as the LARGEST AFRICAN ELEPHANT IN CAPTIVITY.


    (ALSO BINTI WAS 24 WHEN HE ARRIVED, MAKING HER BREEDING AGED.. couldn't it be possible that they are continuing the program because she had a still born calf making her already fertile?)