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National Zoo To Add Three Elephants To Herd Next Year

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Kamala, left, Swarna, center, and Maharani, right, will join the National Zoo herd next year.
Bill Quayle, Calgary Zoo
Kamala, left, Swarna, center, and Maharani, right, will join the National Zoo herd next year.

The Smithsonian's National Zoo is adding three new female Asian elephants to its herd.

The elephants are on loan from the Calgary Zoo in Canada, which is in the process of relocating its elephants. Their move to Washington is being underwritten by philanthropist David Rubenstein, who contributed $2 million.

It's the second major gift to the zoo from Rubenstein, who also gave $4.5 million to fund its giant panda program.

The newcomers from Calgary will bring the zoo's elephant herd to seven. They are scheduled to arrive in the spring of 2014 and will spend a month in quarantine before joining the zoo's other elephants.

Two of the new elephants were born in the wild and are nearly 40 years old. The third was born in captivity in 1990.

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