3 Japanese Zoos to Swap Female Elephants for Breeding


Tokyo, Sept. 22 (Jiji Press)--Three zoos in northeastern Japan will launch a project on Tuesday to swap their female African elephants in a bid to form new pairs for breeding, in the first such attempt in the country.

The three are Selcohome Zoo Paradise Yagiyama in Miyagi Prefecture, Akita City Omoriyama Zoo in Akita Prefecture and Morioka Zoological Park in Iwate Prefecture.

Japan has been seeing a sharp drop in the number of African elephants in the country partly because imports of the animal are strictly restricted under the Washington Convention, formally called the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES.

According to the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the number of African elephants in Japan peaked at 80 in 1986, but fell to 34 at the end of 2017. Breeding has not been successful since 2014.

Each of the three zoos has a pair of male and female African elephants of breeding age. The six elephants are aged 16-29.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press