African Elephant Moki Turns 38!

July 16, 2020

Summer is finally here and it is time to celebrate! On July 15 one of my favorite ladies turned 38 years old – Moki the African Elephant! Moki joined our herd here at Seneca Park Zoo in 2015 and has been a perfect ambassador for her counterparts in nature ever since.A few ways to tell her apart from the others are that she is our largest elephant, weighing in at a cool 8,300 pounds, and has the longest tusks. She is also our only elephant friend who knows a behavior where she makes a sound from her trunk – how amazing!

I started working with the elephants in 2019 and Moki was the first one I started training with. She instantly became my favorite – yes, I know we aren’t supposed to have favorites but hear me out. She absolutely loves food (just like me) and she’s crazy smart. Who wouldn’t love a friend like that?! What truly made me fall in love with her though is the fact that she has been very patient with me as I began learning and continue to learn the ins and outs of working with elephants. She truly has made it so much fun.

An interesting fact about Moki is that she has, what I call, an “extendo-trunk”. Elephants can reach up to 8 feet with their trunks, but I swear Moki has figured out a way to extend her trunk even longer than that! It definitely makes hanging enrichment a little more complicated, but it is so awesome to see her extend her trunk as far as she can.

We are so thrilled that the zoo has finally opened and you all can come visit. And if you do, don’t forget to make your way down to the elephants and wish Moki a BIG {elephant}astic 38th Birthday!

-Hanna Kaiser, Zoo Keeper

*Banner photo by Wayne Smith


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