Asian elephants are endangered in the wild, where perhaps only 30,000 still live in forests of south and southeast Asia. They are endangered in North American zoos, too. That's why the 2001 birth of Kandula, the result of artificial insemination, was such a triumph.

This young male represents a major effort by the National Zoo to develop a herd of breeding Asian elephants, build a new Zoo habitat called Elephant Trails for these majestic animals, and help to save populations both in zoos and in the wild through science and conservation initiatives.

Donate now!A New Home for the Zoo's Elephants

Last spring, we began construction on Elephant Trails, an innovative new home for our Asian elephants. We have already made a lot of progress and are on schedule to complete phase one next year.
Read our construction updates.

In 2009, we aim to complete the Elephant Exercise Trek, a state-of-the-art trail through one of the Zoo’s most beautiful, wooded areas. We need your help to complete it. Find out how you can be a trail blazer and how we'll thank you.

Elephant Updates

Kandula, our seven-year-old male elephant, is now more than seven feet tall at the shoulder and weighs about 4,250 pounds.

Shanthi, his mother, has has been on a weight-loss program and has reached her target weight of 9,000 pounds!

click for Find out more about our elephants.

Read All About It

A healthy diet, enrichment items, training, and family herd interactions keep the Zoo’s elephants happy and stimulated. click forRead the full story.

What is Elephant Trails? A Campaign to Save Asian Elephants! more

Web Cam Is Offline

The elephant web cams are unavailable during the renovation of our elephant habitats. Check our updates to find out how Elephant Trails construction is going. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Mammal Mystery
What animal scales rocks in Africa and is related to elephants but weighs just a few pounds? link toFind out.

Elephant Enigma
How do you get a four-ton animal to open up and say, "Ahhh"? link toFind out.

Asian Elephant Neighbors
In Asia, elephants may share broadly overlapping ranges with tigers, sloth bears, clouded leopards, and other Zoo species. Thousands of years ago, Asian elephants and giant pandas may have met. Asia Trail brings these species together at the National Zoo.

Other Elephants
One species of elephant lives in Asia, while two different species live in Africa: the savanna elephant and the forest elephant.

The savanna elephant, which you may see in many zoos, ranges through open habitats in eastern and southern Africa, while the forest elephant occupies central and west African forests, such as those in Gabon. Only recently did scientists decide, based on DNA studies, that these two forms were indeed distinct species. link tomore

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