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Frequently Asked Questions
How old is Lucky?
Lucky arrived at the San Antonio Zoo in 1962 at the age of two. She is 54 years old and has lived longer than the average elephant either in the wild or in the Zoo.
Is Lucky’s habitat adequate?
Yes. Lucky’s habitat meets the necessary requirements set forth by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA accreditation standards are science-based and continue to be re-evaluated, including the mandatory standards for elephants. AZA’s Standards for Elephant Management and Care allow the San Antonio Zoo to appropriately maintain these magnificent animals and require a significant commitment of staff and resources. The San Antonio Zoo is meeting these commitments and continuously strive towards improving its elephant program.
Does Lucky have a foot infection or foot problems?
Lucky shows no signs of chronic foot problems. Zookeepers and our Zoo veteranarians are trained in preventive health care methods especially in elephant foot care. Her feet are currently in excellent condition.
How is Lucky’s overall health?
Two full-time veterinarians monitor Lucky’s health regularly. She receives baths and is examined on a daily basis. The examinations include her eyes, ears, mouth and feet. She is also trained to assist keepers and veterinarians in providing the care she requires as part of her preventative health care plan. The veterinarians are also available around the clock to respond to any health issues that may arise. She is fit and healthy.
Why does Lucky rock back and fourth?
This behavior usually indicates an expectation. When Lucky is observed swaying back and fourth or side-to-side, that is her way of exhibiting an anxious or impatient behavior. She usually does this when she wants food, enrichment time, a bath, or when she wants access into her barn and sometimes when she just wants attention by the group of keepers who spoil her daily.
Is Lucky’s pool adequate?
Yes. The water is deep enough that she can totally submerge. The pool also has a continuous fresh water supply, which helps keep the pool clean and cool.
How often is the pool cleaned and drained?
The pool is cleaned and drained as needed. It differs between the summer and the winter months. Algae grows quickly during the summer, so the pool is drained and cleaned every three to four days.
Will the San Antonio Zoo get another Asian elephant?
No. The Zoo will eventually have African elephants as part of the Africa Live! habitat. The existing elephant exhibit will be reconstructed, the layout expanded, and the elephant barn enlarged.
Why is it important for Lucky to stay at the San Antonio Zoo?
Lucky is well taken care of; she is healthy and receives consistent veterinary care. She knows her habitat; she is familiar with her zookeepers and staff that care for her 365 days year; and regardless of all the variables, there is no question that a move from the San Antonio Zoo would be stressful.
How does the San Antonio Zoo help in elephant conservation?
The San Antonio Zoo has been involved in elephant conservation and research since 1997. We support or have supported the following:
Research and Studies include:
• International Elephant Foundation’s EEHV Research Weekly blood samples from the Zoo’s Asian elephant as part of an ongoing International Elephant Foundation project to investigate the Endotheliotropic Elephant Herpes Virus (EEHV). Weekly blood collection will continue for a two-year span and will be used to create a comprehensive database of the serologic status of Asian elephants in North America. Lucky does not show signs of EEHV.
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