Meet Samson: Oregon Zoo welcomes 19-year-old Asian elephant

(Photo courtesy of ABQ BioPark)

The Oregon Zoo has welcomed a new member to their pachyderm family.

Samson, 19-year-old Asian elephant, arrived at the Oregon Zoo Tuesday night from the ABQ BioPark Zoo in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The zoo said that keepers hope Samson will serve as a "big brother" to Samudra, who turns 10 this year.

“We’re very excited to have two Sams here,” said Bob Lee, the zoo’s elephant curator. “The timing is great because our young male, Samudra, is maturing into an adult bull, and he could benefit from the companionship of an older male.”

Lee also hopes Samson will hit it off with Rose-Tu and add to the population of the highly endangered species.

Samson was born May 4, 1998, at African Lion Safari in Ontario, Canada, and moved to ABQ BioPark in 2003.

The zoo said his transfer to Portland was recommended by the Species Survival Plan for Asian elephants.

Samson will remain behind the scene for a month or so before keepers gradually begin acquainting him with the rest of the herd. The zoo says a date for his public debut has not yet been set, but visitors should be able to see him sometime in May.

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