N.C. Zoo Welcomes Female Elephant

A 19-year-old female elephant has arrived at the North Carolina Zoo as the first addition to the herd in a major expansion of the zoo's elephant exhibit and holding facilities.

Samantha weighs about 7,500 pounds.

She was unloaded and reported to be resting comfortably in her stall shortly after sunrise Sunday following a four-day truck ride from the Valley Zoo in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The N.C. Zoo and Valley Zoo announced an agreement in June to bring the female elephant to North Carolina on breeding loan.

Samantha is the first resident of a new $2.5-million-dollar elephant holding barn constructed as part of the Watani Grasslands Reserve.

It's an 8.5-million-dollar renovation and expansion of the zoo's elephant and rhinoceros facilities.