The Los Angeles Zoo’s newest Asian elephant made her public debut on Thursday.
Shaunzi can be found in the Thai yard at the Elephants of Asia exhibit, where she continues her month-long quarantine, according to information from the L.A. Zoo.
Zoo officials say the 46-year-old pachyderm spends a lot of her day giving herself baths and playing with things in the yard, like the large tires.
Born in Thailand in 1971 and spending much of her youth in the Cristiani Bros. Circus, Shaunzi arrived at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in 1983 with another Asian elephant, Kara. According to the zoo, the two female elephants were everyday companions until Kara died on June 7.
The Fresno zoo then asked the L.A. Zoo to give Shaunzi a new home, where she will eventually meet up with fellow elephants.
“There’s kind of this misconception that you can just throw all of these elephants together and it’s gonna be fine, but just like any other animal or even people, it doesn’t mean one elephant is necessarily get along with another elephant,” said Josh Sisk, the LA Zoo'z curator of animals.
In about three weeks, Shaunzi will start interacting with the other elephants through the fencing, where they can touch, smell and see each other.
“Then we’ll be able to start to kind of judge, kind of see where their personalities are,” Sisk told KPCC.