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Get To Know Our Elephant

Stephanie is a South African Bush Elephant. Stephanie came to Sedgwick County Zoo in 1972 when she was approximately two years old.


Stephanie's favorite food item seems to be carrots as she will occasionally leave bananas, oranges and white potatoes behind.

Potential New Residents!

We are excited to be working as partners with Dallas Zoo, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and conservation officials in Swaziland, Africa, in an effort to provide 18 African elephants necessary new homes.

The group has officially applied for permits that are required to allow the import. These permit requests are currently under consideration by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Swaziland wildlife authorities. If permits are approved, the elephants can be relocated to the innovative, new habitats designed to meet the needs of large, social elephant herds.

Why These Elephants?
Swaziland, a small landlocked country in southern Africa roughly the size of New Jersey, has no other space for the elephants that were damaging the parks by changing forests into barren landscapes.

Destroying ancient trees and brush as they eat their way across the plains, the parks’ elephants consume sparse vegetation faster than it can naturally regenerate. This altered the land and threw resources out of balance, which negatively affected other mammal and bird species in the parks.

Since establishing its first wildlife sanctuary in 1964, Swaziland has been guided by longstanding wildlife management plans created by local conservationists and park officials who aim to restore the parks to a balanced, sustainable state. Although Swaziland’s parks are too small to support large elephant herds, plans identify the parks as ideal settings for a significant rhino conservation effort.

Making Room for Rhinos
While about 15 elephants will remain at the parks as symbols of Swaziland’s rich natural heritage, the current elephant population is too large, leaving 18 elephants in need of a new home and a safe future, a role the three accredited zoos can provide.

Once the most abundant of all rhino species, black rhinos are critically endangered and considered at great risk of extinction due to poaching for their horns. Black rhinos, and southern white rhinos, can live side by side because they do not compete for food—one browses and the other grazes. Both species need protected habitats and both are expected to thrive in the Swazi parks because they do not outstrip the land. The parks’ protected boundaries can also provide critical safety and space to support large numbers.

Visit for more information.


The Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley will be the third largest elephant exhibit in the country. It encompass more than 5 acres of sprawling outdoors space, plus indoor facility and world's largest elephant pool at 550,000 gallons.

This habitat is designed to provide elephants with choices that help ensure their physical, mental and social wellbeing. The innovative approach is informed by the latest scientific research about elephant welfare including a landmark 2013 study that assessed the health of elephants at all U.S. accredited zoos and identified opportunities to improve welfare for all elephants in professional care. Insights from these studies are informing how we care for elephants.

The Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley is planned to open on Memorial Day weekend of 2016.

Slide Show of Construction Progress>

Learn more about the new exhibit and all the exciting features>


Expert Elephant Care

The elephants at Sedgwick County Zoo have a high quality of life and are provided excellent nutrition, excercise, professional veterinary care and environmental enrichment. They are cared for by a dedicated team of elephant-care experts and  veterinarians with more then 70 combined years of elephant care and management experience.

Dedicated to Elephants

Sedgwick County Zoo is dedicated to the care of its elephants and the protection of wild elephants. As part of our conservation mission, we support the International Elephant Foundation. Over 90% of this foundation's money goes to support conservation, education, and research projects that help wild elephants and provide improvements for the elephants in human care.

Article by the International Elephant Foundation written for ZooTracks>

An average of 96 elephants are killed each day in Africa. At this rate, African elephants face near extinction in just 10 short years. The reasons for their decline include poaching, inadequate protection, insufficient efforts to stop ivory trafficking and the huge demand for ivory around the world.

96 Elephants is a campaign created by the Wildlife Conservation Society. This campaign aims to bring together world citizens, partners, leaders and change makers to leverage their collective influence and resources to save African elephants from extinction.

Learn more and join the effort!

Like: 96 Elephants on Facebook
Follow: @96Elephants


If people are to care about preserving elephants and their habitat, they need to learn about and understand them. Zoos provide a powerful venue to make this happen. When people learn about elephants they discover that their actions do matter. Elephants need zoos. Zoo studies on elephant biology and behavior would be challenging and in some cases impossible, in the field. Working with populations in zoos has a positive effect on conservation, and the information gathered is relevant to helping and understanding wild populations.

Your Actions Matter

Show your dedication to Sedgwick County Zoo and our elephants.

  • Become a Zoo Pal - adopt an elephant.
  • Focus your next school project on elephants.
  • Read a great book or wildlife magazine article on elephants.
  • Round up for Conservation - next time you're in the gift shop round up your purchase to the nearest dollar to help us support conservation efforts in the wild.
  • Volunteer.
  • Participate in one of our learning adventures about elephants.
  • Speak up for elephants; let your friends & family know how much you care about the work being done by Sedgwick County Zoo and other AZA accredited Zoos.
  • Purchase elephant "Poo Paper" from the Zoo gift shop.
  • Help us teach children about the complex social lives of elephants and the important role Zoos play.
  • Become a member of Sedgwick County Zoo
  • Make a donation to Sedgwick County Zoo

Thanks in advance for your support. Together we can make a difference.

Marketing / PR Manager:  
Sedgwick County Zoo
5555 Zoo Boulevard
Wichita, KS 67212
t: (316) 660-9453
Complete Master Plan download pdf
Hours of Operation
Summer Hours8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(Beginning March 1)
Winter Hours10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(Beginning November 1)
Open 364 Days a Year!*
*The Zoo will be closed one day only, September 10, 2016 to facilitate the preparation of the annual Zoo fundraiser, Zoobilee. For Zoobilee ticket information please call 266-8APE (8273).