The Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium has a long standing commitment to African elephants and their conservation.

The Zoo works closely with various conservation partners around the country including Dr. Thomas Hildebrandt, head of the Department of Reproduction Management at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, Germany. An internationally recognized leader in elephant reproductive research, Dr. Hildebrandt has served for years as the Zoo’s reproductive consultant.

The Zoo also partners with Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust (VFWT) in Zimbabwe to help protect a variety of species in need. Specifically, the Zoo has helped to collar African elephants for research and tracking, to develop programs to protect vultures, and to reduce the spread of deadly disease by training and educating others about animal tuberculosis testing methods.

Elephant Collaring in Zimbabwe (Facebook)

In addition, the Zoo has a close relationship with Zoo Wuppertal in Germany, working in cooperation with the elephant management staff there. Zoo Wuppertal has an excellent African elephant breeding program, with the successful births of multiple calves. This partnership also includes keeper, veterinary, equipment, and information exchanges. or stranded in cold water due to injury, disease, illness, or environmental threats.

And finally, the Pittsburgh Zoo plays a major leadership role in addressing the needs for breeding the African elephant population in North America through its International Conservation Center (ICC.) The ICC is North America’s premier conservation, research, education, breeding, and training facility, specializing in the care and breeding of African elephants. The ICC is the only center of its kind with such a strong focus on this beautiful and threatened animal. 

International Conservation Center