Vus'Musi, an elephant from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, was transferred to a zoo in Fresno to help with a breeding program. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Vus’Musi, an elephant from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, was transferred to a zoo in Fresno to help with a breeding program. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park announced Friday that an 11-year-old elephant was transferred to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo to help with a breeding program.

The male named Vus’Musi was the first offspring of a group of elephants brought to the Safari Park in 2003 from Swaziland, where they were being culled.

“He’s all grown up,” said Curtis Lehman, the park’s animal care supervisor. “Being a male, we knew that someday he’d probably move to another place and start a family of his own — and it turned out to be the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.”

“Moosey” was driven up to Fresno on Thursday, where he will remain in quarantine before he joins females Amy and Betts. Lehman and keeper Mindy Albright plan to stay with him during the transition.

The 7,500-pound pachyderm — whose name, coincidentally, means “to build a family” — is taking part in a breeding loan recommended by the Species Survival Plan program, managed within zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, according to the Safari Park.

— City News Service