Narrating the correlation of elephants as related to their import, groupings, breeding and transfers,
along with other elephant related topics.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Point Defiance Zoo I

The Port Defiance Zoo describes themselves as a "national leader in handling elephants considered too dangerous to be kept and trained using traditional methods." They acquired Hanako in December 1997 from the Portland Zoo because of her "unpredictable and moody" disposition. There she joined Suki and Cindy. Suki had arrived in March 1996 from Dickerson Park Zoo after she slammed a keeper against a wall. Cindy was the zoo's first "troubled" elephant, arriving in February 1992 with a history of grabbing and biting people. In August 2005, Bamboo arrived from the Woodland Park Zoo after being unable to cohabitate with the younger elephants and calf. However, she was unable to be integrated into the group and was returned to her previous home ten months later.

Cindy was first imported to the Port Defiance Zoo in 1964 at three years old. The 18 year old elephant was transferred in December 1982 to the San Diego to be bred with the Wild Animal Park's bull elephant, Ranchipur. After attacking a keeper at the park in 1989 she was temporarily relocated to the Portland Zoo before she could reg ressto Washington. Upon her return in 1992, the Tacoma zoo had built a $2.3 million new elephant barn and habitat. They also established a protected contact management program to accommodate her.

Following her death in November 2002, controversy surrounded the disposal of the 40 old elephant after she was buried at a local landfill rather than cremating the 8000 pound animal as planned. In February 2003, the Point Defiance rededicated the elephant barn in her memory.

Hanako was the fourth elephant born at Washington Park Zoo, nine days after her half-brother Dino. Breeding bull Thonglaw sired the first calf for dam Tuy Hoa.

By the time she was 19, Hanako had given birth to four calves, though only Sabu lived longer than two months. She spent the first 34 years of her life at the zoo where she was born, sans a 16 month breeding loan to the Los Angeles Zoo with half-sister Me-Tu. Both elephants were bred by their half-brother Packy (all three elephants sired by Thonglaw). Two months before their return, Me-Tu gave birth. One month after their return, Hanako gave birth to a calf as well.

Hanako at the Portland Zoo, August 1994
Photo Courtesy of M Easley

Cindy, Female Asian, SB 212
1962 - Birth, India
~1964 - Point Defiance Zoo, Tacoma, Washington
15 Dec 1982 - San Diego Wild Animal Park, Escondido, California
28 Nov 1989 - Portland Zoo, Portland, Oregon
19 Feb 1992 - Point Defiance Zoo, Tacoma, Washington
19 Nov 2002 - Death, Point Defiance Zoo, Tacoma, Washington

Hanako, Female Asian, SB 51
24 Sep 1963 - Birth, Portland Zoo, Portland, Oregon
28 Oct 1974 - Los Angeles Zoo, Los Angeles, California
11 Feb 1976 - Portland Zoo, Portland, Oregon
09 Dec 1997 - Point Defiance Zoo, Tacoma, Washington

For Additional Information:
>> "Dangerous Elephant To Get Bigger Quarters,", 11/25/1982

>> "Popular Elephant's Carcass Dumped With The Garbage,", 11/26/2002

>> "Zoo to rededicate elephant barn in Cindy’s memory,", 02/11/2003

>> "Defiant attitude better suited for Pt. Defiance,", 08/12/2005

>> "Elephants of the Point Defiance Zoo" at ZooChat

(To Be Continued...)

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I eagerly anticipate associating with new individuals with an interest or history in elephants, elephant history and elephant record keeping. If you have further information regarding the animals or locations questioned in the article, please leave a comment or message me in an effort to complete their records for elephant historians.