News & Politics

Florida Elephant Comes to DC in Search of Love

Washington’s newest eligible bachelor? Spike, the Asian elephant.

The man, the myth, the legend – Spike. Photograph courtesy of the National Zoo.

In the most epic out-of-state booty call ever, Smithsonian’s National Zoo has brought in a new male elephant from Florida to breed with one of their females.

Spike is basically a pachyderm version of The Bachelor—he’ll be the only male surrounded by a literal herd of females vying for his attention, and it’ll all be broadcast live. That’s right: There’s an elephant cam streaming 24 hours a day, so you can see the drama happen in real-time.

While Spike can choose between fellow Asian elephants Ambika, Shanthi, Kamala, Swarna, Maharani, and Bozie, producers—sorry, we mean zookeepers—are betting that he reignites his flame with Maharani. The two were hot and heavy when they both lived at the Calgary Zoo in Canada, and Maharani gave birth to three babies, although none survived.

After travelling hundreds of miles on the Interstate from Tampa, Spike arrived at the zoo Friday morning. Before he moves in with his harem, Spike will be quarantined in the elephant barn. The bachelor pad has toys and puzzles to keep him busy during his acclimation, after which he’ll get to see the ladies.

And, in case you were wondering, Spike’s not a bad-looking guy, either: He stands nine-feet-tall with a nice set of tusks, reports the Washington Post, making him one of the biggest elephants in recent zoo history (and a catch!). Washington’s most eligible bachelor, anybody?

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Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. Her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Petworth.