“Sundzu,” a 2-year-old male elephant calf at the Reid Park Zoo,underwent a dental procedure Wednesday, March 6. He cracked a tusk while wrestling with his 5-year old brother “Punga” several weeks ago.

“It is common for elephants, including youngsters, to chip or break tusks while playing or digging,” says Elephant Supervisor Sue Tygielski. Although Sundzu was not in pain, the tusk was repaired to help prevent further damage.

A team from San Diego Zoo Global and the Colyer Institute came to Tucson for the exam and dental procedure on the broken tusk. “The San Diego Zoo Global team has a large herd of elephants and they have done several of these procedures on young elephants,” said Tygielski.

“Our collective team of experts worked flawlessly together, and the procedure went as well as could be expected.”

San Diego Zoo Global has made video of the procedure available to media at:

Reid Park Zoo is a world class facility that welcomes over 600,000 visitors per year. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,the Zoo provides whole-life care for hundreds of exotic animals,representing a variety of habitats around the world. Reid Park Zoo encourages commitment to the conservation of biological diversity while providing educational and fun experiences for visitors of all ages.

The Zoo is open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily. For directions and visitor information, visit


B-roll includes:

● Video of veterinarians preparing for and performing the dental

procedure on the young elephant

● Video of elephant and mom after the procedure

● Soundbite from Jim Oosterhuis, DVM, San Diego Zoo Safari Park

● Soundbite from Sue Tygielski, Elephant Supervisor at Reid Park


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.