Asian elephant Duncan transfers from Houston Zoo to Denver Zoo

The Denver Zoo’s elephant herd has a new member, a nine-year-old youngster who joins the locals as the newest tusker in town.

Duncan, who weighs 7,700 lbs., arrived in Denver this week. He comes from the Houston Zoo on the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Asian Elephant Species Survival Plan, according to a Denver Zoo news release.

An Asian elephant, Duncan was born on Feb. 7, 2014, to parents Shanti and Thai.

“Duncan loves cantaloupe and alfalfa hay, and enjoys swimming — especially in the rain — according to his former keepers in Houston,” the release said.

Denver Zoo staff said, “Duncan is already settling in as he joins 53-year-old Groucho, 19-year-old Bodhi, 15-year-old Billy, 14-year-old Chuck and 13-year-old Jake.”

Duncan is part of “ongoing efforts to help save and protect the endangered species,” the release said.

“Due to the matriarchal social system of elephants, young males leave their maternal herds when they begin maturing, typically between the ages of eight to 11,” according to the release. “They then can live in loose bachelor groups that include an older bull who serves as a mentor and teacher to the younger males.”

Zoo guests and members can see Duncan in the area of Toyota Elephant Passage directly east of the Clayton F. Freiheit Elephant House.

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