Elephants: 'They have ears shaped like Africa' - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Elephants: 'They have ears shaped like Africa'

Saturday is Elephant Appreciate Day and zoos across the nation will be celebrating these giant creatures.

The holiday was created back in 1996, by a business man in Florida who liked elephants.

Caldwell Zoo will be putting on an elephant show, as well as have elephant artifacts on display.

Rolinda, Tanya and Binti are the three female African Elephants at Caldwell Zoo.

"A really cool thing about these guys is that they're very, very smart. They know what they can get away with and what they can't. They like to work, they like to be stimulated mentally and I also think that it's really cool that they can use their trunk for so many different things," says elephant keeper, Christy Nitz.

Elephants have more than 10,000 muscles in their trunks.

"They can pick up something as large as a giant log to move it around, or they have two finger like appendages at the end of their trunk. So they can use that to pick up blades of grass, leaves or stuff like that. It's one of the most universal appendages in the animal kingdom," says Nitz.

Rolinda is the oldest elephant in the herd and has been in Tyler since the 1970's.

Tanya, who is Rolinda's best friend, has been at Caldwell Zoo since the 1980's.

"They kind of get upset if they have to do something where one's inside and the other's outside. So they kind of get like, 'where'd you go' so they get kind of upset when they're not together," says Nitz.

Binti is the newest addition to the herd and was born without tusk. She arrived in 200.

"Binti really likes interaction stuff. She is at the bottom of our totem pole here, because you have to work your way into the herd, so there is always going to be the submissive elephant in the herd and that's Binti," says Nitz.

All three elephants are wild born elephants from Africa. Wonder how you can tell?

"They have ears shaped like Africa, if you can see their ears they're shaped like Africa. So it's a good way to see what species you're talking about. Asian elephants have ears more shaped like Asia," says Nitz.

Elephant Appreciation Day will be from1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Caldwell Zoo on Saturday.

Admission prices to get in will stay the same.

Caldwell Zoo Members FREE

Children 2 and under FREE

Children 13 through 12 $6.00

Adults 13 through 54 $9.50

Seniors 55 and older $8.25

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