Moki the elephant’s impressive behavior

As many of you know, two elephants from Jacksonville, Florida now reside here at Seneca Park Zoo! Upon their arrival, I was given the opportunity to be the primary trainer for Moki to smooth her transition into her new home. As part of this duty, I had to learn what behaviors Moki knew so that I could ask for them while properly meeting the criteria of the behaviors. It has been very exciting to see the variations in behaviors that Moki and Chana know in comparison to Genny C and Lilac. More exciting than that, was to see Moki’s ability to “sit up,” even though she tips the scale at 8,600 pounds! Although this  behavior was trained to be performed on command many years ago, elephants in their natural ranges perform similar behaviors all the time. They will sit up in order to reach high branches to eat or when they are taking a bath, or even just to take a break! So next time you are at the Zoo, come say hello to our new residents and maybe catch Moki in a training session to see her amazing “sit-up!”   –Blog and photos by Jenna Bovee, Elephant Handler