Narrating the correlation of elephants as related to their import, groupings, breeding and transfers,
along with other elephant related topics.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tama Zoological Park

The Tama Zoological Park, located in the suburbs of Tokyo, Japan, is one of several zoos in the island country to exhibit elephants of both species. The facility also exhibited Japan's oldest African elephant until her death last month at the age of 49.

"African elephant "Mako" from Tanzania walks at the Tama Zoological Park in Hino, Tokyo, in July 2008. (Mainichi)"
Courtesy of

The Tama Zoo, one of three located in Japan's capital, was previously listed at with a single Asian bull and a single African cow. Their website states the possess elephants of both species and a downloadable PDF map displays the species are kept in separate exhibits in their respective regional zones of the zoo.

Asian elephants
Jonas Livet's confirms the existence of the 58 year old Asian bull Anura with both text and photographs. He arrived at Tama from another Tokyo zoo in the late 1950s. No further information is found regarding Asian elephants of the Tama Zoo.

Anura. Tama Zoo. May 2009.
Courtesy of Stefan Waldheim;

African elephants
Five African elephants are listed in the history of the Tama Zoo at, though errors seem to be present. The recently deceased Mako was not listed as a resident of the zoo, only the single female African elephant Ai. Two deceased males previously resided at the zoo - former breeding bull Tamao and his son Pao. Tamao's daughter Mao was relocated to another facility.

The news article declaring Mako's death states she arrived in Tokyo from Tanzania in 1967. She was accompanied by Ako from Kenya. Both were estimated to be born in 1965.

No mention is made of the breeding bull Tamao. The only information listed at includes his death on 08/08/2006.

The two captive born elephants at Tamao, a male and a female, were born in April 1998 and June 2002, respectively. The male Pao died in July 2007 of unknown reasons. The female Mao was relocated to the Morioka Zoological Park at an unknown date. Both are listed as born to Tamao and Ai, though the mother may be incorrect due to the omission of Mako from records.

African Zone. Tama Zoological Park.
Courtesy of
All records for the African elephants of the Tama Zoological Park list Peter Stolk as a reference for information. This thorough elephant researcher has provided the database with an invaluable amount of information, updates and corrections.

More information is sought regarding the elephant history of this Japanese institution, including verification of the captive births parentage.


  1. Hi

    I up movie "Anura at Tama Zoological Park" @

  2. Anonymous,
    Thank you for the link to your video. With your news links I learned that Anura was donated to Japan from dignitaries of Sri Lanka to the prince of Japan in 1957. This updates his record with


    I have now found a video of the African elephants as well, preceding the death of Mako. It is very interesting to note the difference in exhibits for the two species, as well as the weights of the two African females.

  3. A news article dated 09/21/2011 regarding Hanako of the Inokashira Park Zoo in Musashino, Tokyo, states the Tama Zoological Park has practiced protected contact with Asian elephants for 14 years.

  4. Is there any particulair reason why you choose not to update the record?

  5. Dan,
    I believe I updated all records that are described here. I did not change the African to Protected Contact because the article only mentions the Asian elephants of the Tama Zoo with this form of management.

  6. dont worry, I updated

  7. Thank you for your kind words!
    I will keep on searching for more.

  8. Both Mako (or Moko) and Ako arrived July 21st 1967.
    By the way: Ai was transfered to Gunma in 2009!
    After that she had three African females left.
    And now Mako died.

  9. My information on the births in Japan is correct!
    Tokyo Tama had two; both to bull Tamao and cow Ai.
    The first was born April 25, 1988 and died July 11 2007.
    This was a male with the name Pao.

    The second was born June 13 2002, 0:45 AM, and is still alive.
    She is called Mao.

    Other African births occured in Gunma(4), Himeji(1), Iwate(1) and Tobe(4)

  10. And to correct the file of Ai, she can't be the same as Ako.
    Ai arrived at Tama from Himeji February 27 1996.

    Tamao arrived Tama on August 9 1971 from Africa.

  11. Thanks for the article of Tama Zoo.. Now I know the names of the elephants at Tama .. and could identifye them.... A riddle to me since a long time.. = Mako


    She´s looking very interesting african lady.

    kind regard

  12. I get contradictory records for those elephants:

    "Seems Fuji Safari Park has one african elephant and five asian elephants.

    Group of 5 asian elephant (one male and three females, but an calf which was born Oct.14th sex is unknown yet). Before Korean Zoo the have arrive from Laos. I think you are correct the man from laos is working with asian elephants. These five asian elephants name is unknown.

    Other one african elephants is female.
    Name: Satara, female, 1988, born in African.

    Before four asian elephants arrived, Fuji Safari Park had so many african elephants ever. Maybe about six africans? Three elephant had death other one elephant moved to Tokyo Tama Zoo since 2001. It's Chiki the 36 year old female elephant lived at Fuji before. Now Fuji keeps one african elephant named Satara and five asian elephants only.

    And Fuji Safari Park had one young male african elephant before too. His name was Pao who was born April 25 1998 in Tokyo Tama Zoo. He was the first african elephant was born in Tama Zoo in Tokyo. He had moved to Fuji Safari Park in 2001. But Pao was passed away August 13th 2007. "


I eagerly anticipate associating with new individuals with an interest or history in elephants, elephant history and elephant record keeping. If you have further information regarding the animals or locations questioned in the article, please leave a comment or message me in an effort to complete their records for elephant historians.