Happy [Belated] Birthday to African Elephant Moki!

Sept 22, 2021

Summer flew by (too fast in our opinion) but in light of Elephant Week we had to take a moment and celebrate a special birthday that happened over it. In July, a favorite lady of mine turned 39 years old – Moki the African Elephant! Our largest lady, weighing in around 9000 pounds, loves to spend her day eating. She is a food connoisseur and every time we check on the herd, she always comes over to see if we have anything tasty. Besides being our largest elephant, a great way to tell her apart is that she has the longest tusks! Tusks are modified incisor teeth that continuously grow throughout an elephant’s life. In the wild, elephants are poached for their ivory tusks, which along with human-elephant conflict, is the major threat to elephant conservation. Moki is also our only elephant who knows a behavior to make a noise from her trunk and waves – it is very cute to see!

Moki was orphaned in Zimbabwe and brought over to the US. She lived at a few zoos before joining us in 2015 and has been a loved addition ever since. Here are her team’s favorite things about her 🙂

“She’s very observant and always keeps us on our toes.” – Lindsay, Assistant Curator of Hoofstock

“She tries to communicate with you by showing you what she wants.” – Jenna, Zoologist

“She’s got the tiniest voice when she speaks. I also love her beach ball body!” – Tina, Zoologist

“Moki is always willing to participate with me when asking for behaviors.” – Mike, Zookeeper

“I love that her tongue sticks out when she’s sucking on treats!” – Kat, Zookeeper

Next time you are visiting the zoo, please give Moki a wave and let us know your favorite things about her!

– Zoo Keeper Hanna Kaiser

Photo by Hanna Kaiser
Photo by Elesa Kim

*Banner photo by Hanna Kaiser