34 Years old | male | African | wild
Fresno Chaffee Zoo (Fresno, CA)

Mabu is an African elephant currently held at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in Fresno, CA. He was born in South Africa in 1990, before his transfer to Eswatini and, finally, the US in 2003. He was transferred to Fresno in 2022 for use in a captive breeding program. Mabu is now confined with 2 other elephants, who all suffer from their facility’s lack of sufficient space and from being unable to engage in their natural behaviors.

Mabu's Story

Mabu was born in 1990 in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. At some point between his birth and 2003, he was transported to the Mkhaya Game Reserve in Eswatini. In 2003, he and ten other elephants were imported to the US despite public outcry and legal opposition. Mabu was sent to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park where, between 2006 and 2011, he fathered ten offspring with the female elephants held in captivity with him.

In 2012, Mabu, two of his young sons, and two adult female elephants were transferred to the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, AZ to establish a new group of captive elephants there. In 2014 an elephant he was held captive with gave birth to an elephant he fathered. In 2016 he was transferred back to San Diego to again breed with the adult females at that zoo. In 2018, two elephants he fathered were born in San Diego. That same year he was transferred back to the Reid Park Zoo to again breed with the female elephants held captive there. Shortly after, his eleven-year-old son died in Tucson. In 2020 an elephant he fathered was born at the Reid Park Zoo. According to the zoo, Mabu formed close bonds with his offspring at the Reid Park Zoo; the elephants he lived with missed him when he would be separated from him while being crate trained before one of his transports.

In November of 2022, upon the recommendation of the AZA, he was transferred to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo to breed with Nolwazi and Amahle.

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