This pachyderm pair is part of zoo’s ongoing efforts to protect endangered species.

You could say the Denver Zoo is a real boy’s club when it comes to elephants. And for once, that’s a good thing.

The zoo welcomed two new Asian elephants in September, making it the largest herd of male elephants in the nation. Chuck, 10, and Jake, 8, come to Denver from the African Lion Safari in Ontario, Canada.

The pachyderm pair joins Groucho, Bodhi, and Billy, who are part of the zoo’s ongoing efforts to protect and save the endangered species. The zoo has the large population of males because their genetics are valuable to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, the zoo said. Asian elephants have a decreasing global population estimated at fewer than 35,000.

“Denver Zoo is deeply committed to the protection of Asian elephants and uniquely qualified to house and provide exceptional care for multiple bulls,” said Brian Aucone, senior vice president for animal sciences at Denver Zoo. “We designed and built Toyota Elephant Passage to support the Asian elephant population in North American zoos, and establish Denver Zoo as a worldwide leader in the care of male Asian elephants.”

Chuck and Jake are still acclimating to their new home and are not out in the public’s view quite yet. They came to the zoo in late September and will make their debut after a quarantine period of at least 30 days.

This is good news on the heels of a couple of sad days at the zoo when it announced its two polar bears would be moving to another zoo and let us know its giraffe patriarch, Dikembe, died at age 24.

If you want to follow along with updates on the newest zoo residents, follow the Denver Zoo Facebook page.

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