Zoo Knoxville Throwing an Elephant Birthday Party

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Zoo Knoxville Throwing an Elephant Birthday Party

Posted: 07/21/2016
Zoo Knoxville Elephants Tonka, Jana and EdieZoo Knoxville is throwing a pachyderm-sized party to celebrate the 2016 birthdays of Tonka,  Jana and Edie, the zoo’s African elephants, at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, July 22.

The celebration will take place in the elephants’ habitat in the zoo’s Grasslands Africa area.  Guests are invited to gather and watch Tonka, Jana and Edie discover surprises in their habitat like fresh greenery, boxes filled with treats, papier mâché “balloons” and giant frozen popsicles.

This summer celebration will commemorate the 38th birthday in March of Tonka, who happens to be the largest African bull  elephant in the U.S., female Edie’s 32nd birthday in June and female Jana’s upcoming 36th birthday in August.

Zoo Knoxville’s African elephants serve as ambassadors for their wild counterparts, whose populations are listed as “vulnerable” by the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species™, recognized as the most comprehensive, objective global approach for evaluating the conservation status of plant and animal species.  The African elephant population has declined from 1.2 million elephants in 1980 to 420,000 in 2012.  Habitat loss due to commercial logging and mining are contributing to the decline, but illegal poaching and wildlife trafficking of ivory is having a devastating impact on elephants, with an estimated 96 elephants killed by poachers every day.  Ivory has become a major source of income for organized crime and terrorist groups, and wildlife trafficking is now the fourth largest transnational crime.  Zoo Knoxville works with other zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as part of the African Elephant Species Survival Plan.   

 Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. Zoo Knoxville features exhibits of wild animals in natural habitats and is world renowned for its efforts in conservation and species survival. Zoo Knoxville is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. Knoxville’s largest attraction, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Currently, the zoo is open daily from 9:30 a.m. until   6:00 p.m.  Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. For more information visit zooknoxville.org