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San Diego Zoo Welcomes New African Elephant

A bull African elephant was moved from Florida to the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park in hopes of contributing to the genetic diversity of its herd, it was announced today.

The elephant, named "Msholo," is no stranger to the herd of African elephants at the Wild Animal Park.

He was among a group of pachyderms that were rescued from a scheduled herd cull in Swaziland and brought to the U.S. in 2003. Seven of the elephants were brought to the Wild Animal Park, while others went to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Fla.

Msholo arrived at the Wild Animal Park about a month ago and has been in quarantine.

"Msholo has been living at the zoo in Florida, but we have brought him here to San Diego with the hopes that he will be able to contribute to the genetic diversity of the herd we have here," said Randy Rieches, the park's curator of animals.

"We have a very successful breeding program with our herd and have had five babies born since their arrival six years ago," he said. "We hope that Msholo will contribute to this effort."

Animal care staff expect to begin the slow process of introducing the females in the herd to Msholo in the next few months.

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