Genny C and Lilac are our two female elephants from South Africa. They were born in 1977 and 1978 and acquired by the Zoo in 1979. Lilac has a hole in her left ear flap, and Genny C has larger tusks. Elephants are extremely intelligent. Genny C and Lilac can respond to and understand more than 50 verbal commands. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (2005), they are the only African elephants in New York.
Status in the Wild
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Vulnerable. The biggest threats to African elephants are the ivory trade and habitat destruction. Poaching for meat and ivory significantly reduced the population of African elephants in the 20th century. The African elephant has governmental protection, but such poaching is still a serious threat to the species. In Africa, some people have resorted to culling large amounts of elephants to help sustain the ecosystem and reduce the elephant population. The Seneca Park Zoo participates in the Species Survival Plan for the African elephant.
African elephants live in the Savannah, thick, moist forests found at all latitudes of tropical Africa and some of the Sahara desert.
Elephants eat leaves, branches, fruit and grasses. They consume 300 pounds of food and 50 gallons of water every day.