Pittsburgh Zoo Elephant Shunned by Herd, Moving

Willie Theison, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium elephant manager works with Callee, a 10-year-old male African Elephant, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 in Pittsburgh. Callee will be moving to join the male herd of elephants at the Birmingham Zoo's new elephant yard and barn--Trails of Africa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


By Kelli Sutterman

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A 10-year-old male elephant at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is moving to Alabama because of peer pressure of sorts.

The female herd has begun to exclude Callee in a phenomenon that occurs naturally as male elephants mature.

On Friday, Callee will be taken off display to prepare to move to the Birmingham Zoo. There, he'll live with other males.

Pittsburgh Zoo elephant manager Willie Thieson (THEE'-son) says he knew it was time for the move when even Callee's mother began to push him away. Shunned male elephants form their own group and reunite with females only during breeding time.

Callee's departure will leave the Pittsburgh Zoo with six elephants, plus three more at a rural conservation center in Somerset County.

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