Denver Zoo’s three, male Asian elephants have reached “a rare accomplishment” — bro dates.
Few institutions in North America hold unrelated bulls that cohabitate in shared space. But Denver’s Groucho, Bodhi and Billy started hanging out in recent weeks, the Denver Zoo announced Wednesday.
Traditionally, male Asian elephants were thought to only be social with other elephants when they are young or interested in breeding. In zoos, older bulls are usually kept separate due to the potential for aggression.
“In 2016, zookeepers began careful introductions behind the scenes with 8-year-old Billy and 12-year-old Bodhi. The two were slowly placed closer and closer together within their stalls at Toyota Elephant Passage so they could at first see each other, then touch each other’s trunks and heads, and finally, share the same space without barriers. In early 2017, 46-year-old Groucho was introduced to them as well,” the zoo said in a release.
Groucho, Bodhi and Billy were put in “this unusual situation” to offer them a special social experience.
“They will not spend every hour, or even every day together, but they will have regular opportunities to interact in the same yards if they choose,” the zoo said.