Oregon Zoo welcomes new Asian elephant

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon Zoo is welcoming their newest resident, a four-ton pachyderm named Samson.

The zoo said Samson is a 19-year-old Asian elephant from a zoo in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He arrived in Portland Tuesday night and caregivers say they’re eager to welcome him into the zoo’s herd.

Officials hope Samson can fill a big brother-type role for Samudra, the zoo’s 10-year-old who is beginning to behave like an adult elephant.

“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 eventually court one of the zoo’s female elephants, Rose-Tu, perhaps adding to the population of highly-endangered Asian elephants.

Samson will remain behind the scenes as he becomes slowly acquainted with the herd. He should make his public debut in Elephant Lands by May.

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