News & Politics

Washington’s Newest Drama Is Here—and It Involves Elephants

Will Dutch newcomers Trong Nhi and Nhi Linh mate with a much older dude from Miami and establish a matriarchal society?

The elephants in their new home. Photograph courtesy Smithsonian's National Zoo.

Attention reality TV executives: Get yourselves to the DC area.

Last month, Smithsonian’s National Zoo welcomed two new female Asian elephants, Trong Nhi (19) and her daughter Nhi Linh (9). The pair arrived from the Rotterdam Zoo to diversify the gene pool of the Washington zoo’s Asian elephant population by (hopefully) mating with Spike, a 41-year-old male who moved here from Miami in 2018.

Today, the whole drama goes on display live, either inside the Elephant Community Center or outdoors in the elephants’ habitat (you can also watch the elephants from home via Elephant Cam). “Our hope is in bringing these elephants here—and they are not related to our male elephant, Spike—that they will breed and they will produce more baby elephants to create this incredible matriarchal herd of elephants here at the National Zoo,” zoo director Brandie Smith says in a video.

A related pair of Dutch newcomers pursuing a much older dude to establish a matriarchal society in Northwest? Now that White Lotus has ended, we are so in.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.