Country of origin: Uganda
Came to Indianapolis: 1989
Sophi joined the African
elephant herd here in Indianapolis in 1989 and has
been in charge ever since!
At 10,000 pounds, Sophi is the largest member
of the herd and she is considered the matriarch, or
the leader of the group.
Sophi guides the other elephants and helps to
raise and care for the youngsters.
Although Sophi can be serious about teaching
and enforcing the rules of the herd, she also has a
flair for the dramatic and can be very vocal and
playful at times. Sophi is a very majestic elephant
with large, beautiful tusks.
The back side of the elephant
habitat overlooks part of the Susan G. Komen Race
for the Cure route on Washington Street.
Several years ago the elephant keepers were
out in the yard and noticed the race participants
The racers also noticed Sophi.
The keepers waved and asked Sophi to lift her
front leg and put her ears out to salute them.
This was a big hit with the racers and so
began a new tradition.
A banner with a pink ribbon on it was made
and attached to a blanket for Sophi to wear over her
Participants in the Race for the Cure now look
forward to seeing Sophi, up on the hill in her
habitat, standing adorned with her pink ribbon
banner, in support of the cause.
Sophi enjoys the attention and the racers
definitely enjoy seeing her!
Photo by Kerrie Best.