Anna is a female South African elephant born in 1975. Before arriving at The Maryland Zoo, she lived at a facility in New Jersey. Anna joined Vaal and Dolly at The Maryland Zoo in 1983 as a cautious eight-year-old. Over time, she developed a strong bond with Vaal and Dolly, helping to form the herd.
Anna is the taller elephant and has angular features on her head. Her back is nearly straight with only a small dip behind her shoulders. Her legs are long and slender. She has a large pair of thick tusks that continue to get longer every year. Her current weight is just over 8,000 pounds. She stands just over nine feet tall from toe to shoulder.
Anna loves to swim in the summer but usually does so only during a rain storm on a hot afternoon. She is very food motivated and can always be seen browsing or grazing in and around the yard. Anna is also very playful and can often be seen running around the rock pile, or tossing, pushing, or pulling any of the tires located throughout the yard. Her calm demeanor and relaxed attitude make her a good elephant for new keepers to start with as they learn how to work with these amazing animals.
Felix is a very “classic” looking elephant except for the fact that she was born without tusks. This is an unusual occurrence in African elephants but does not cause her any problems. Felix was born in Africa and is estimated to be 24 years old. She is considered “petite” for her age, weighing only about 7,200 pounds and standing less than 9 feet tall at the shoulder. She is a very pretty elephant with soft features and excellent body form.
Felix is a quirky animal and tends to vocalize frequently when excited or when she hears new sounds. She is intelligent and perceptive and adapts quickly to change, which makes her very responsive to her handlers. Felix is also an experienced mother. She has successfully raised one male calf already and is currently raising her second calf here at the Zoo. She is proving to be an attentive and extremely tolerant mother who spends every waking minute keeping a close watch on her new calf while also giving him the freedom he needs to explore his world.
Tuffy is an adult male African elephant that came to the Zoo with Felix. Tuffy weighs about 8,500 pounds and stands at least 9 ½ feet tall at the shoulder. Tuffy was also born in Africa and had various other owners prior to coming to the Zoo. He arrived here in December 2007 and has settled into our program well. He has long legs, a slender but muscular body, and no tusks. Unlike Felix, Tuffy originally had tusks but for reasons unknown to us they were removed when he was a calf.
Tuffy is an intelligent, calculating, and extremely perceptive elephant. He is keenly aware of changes in his environment and never misses even the most subtle detail. He is also an athletic elephant. He demonstrates his flexibility and strength regularly by pushing heavy logs and tractor tires all around his exhibit as if they were made of paper!
Tuffy has never been bred with any females, and we are hoping to involve him in a breeding program in the near future.
Samson is our youngest African Elephant. As the first elephant born at the Maryland zoo, his arrival marked a new chapter in the Zoo’s history. Mother, Felix gave birth to Samson on March 19, 2008. He weighed 285 pounds at birth and will grow to up to 14,000 pounds.
For the first few years of his life, he stuck close with Felix, an already experienced mother. However, as he enters adolescence, Samson will become more independent. Both males and females will begin to spend less time with their mothers as they age, but males will completely break away from their protective nurturing by 13 years.
The name Samson was chosen for the male elephant by a large margin of the 12,400 votes cast through text and internet.
The Zoo’s elephant exhibit is sponsored by: