WINSTON – Wildlife Safari has a new elephant in the room.
At the end of August, the animal park welcomed “Butch”, a 43-year-old African elephant who came from the Monterey zoo in California after the death of the last of his companions.
Trying to decide what the California Elephant Sanctuary was going to do with the over 10ft tall pachyderm, he stumbled upon Wildlife Safari and its African Elephant Herd and decided that would be the perfect fit. .
“Butch joined the herd on the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 31 and is settling in well,” said Dan Brands, the park’s general curator who oversees the elephant herd.
As a dedicated pack animal, Butch is said to have blended well with Wildlife Safari’s existing elephant herd, in part because of his patient demeanor.
“He’s a tall, adorable, thoughtful guy and a little bit of a goof,” Brands said. “He loves to play in the water and wallow in the mud. “
Due to an unknown injury to one of his tusks, both tusks were removed, according to a 2016 report from the Salinas Californian. Wildlife Safari limits Butch’s interactions at this time, but he can be seen in the driving portion of the park.
“We are always delighted to welcome a new animal to the park,” said Executive Director Dan Van Slyke. “This is not just an addition to the park and the animal collection, but a larger than life addition to our community.”