Lowry Park has a 5.6 acre safari park exhibit with 250,000 gallon watering hole. The new exhibit opened May 2004.
Eleven elephants were imported from Mkhaya Game Reserve, one of the two protected areas for elephants in Swaziland. The San Diego Zoological Society and Lowry Park Zoo collaborated on the project to capture and import the eleven wild born elephants for a total sum of one million rand, or approximately US$132,000 ($12,000 per specimen). San Diego received 1.6 elephants and Lowry Park received 2.2, transported over the ocean by a 747 jet. The elephants were all named by Swazi game park rangers in the siSwati language.
Lowry Park's four elephants included the two bulls Msholo (pronounced um-show-lo, meaning â€śthe one who appears from nowhere") and Sdudla (stood-luh, translating to â€śstout or sturdy.â€ť) The two cows were Matjeka (muh-chay-guh, meaning â€śskewed tusks) and Mbali (um-bahl-ee, translating to â€śpretty flower.â€ť)
Before the arrival of the four in August 2003, Lowry Park Zoo acquired Ellie, an older cow from the Knoxville Zoo to help the new herd acclimate in their new surroundings. In October 2005, she gave birth to the first elephant in the Floridia zoo's history, impregnated via artificial insemination by a bull from another Florida facility. Three months later in January 2006, Sdudla, was transferred to the Montgomery Zoo to start a third breeding program from the 2003 original imports. There he sired the first two elephant births in the Alabama zoo's history, a female calf born in November 2007 and a stillborn calf in August 2008 which killed the mother. In October 2009, Lowry Park Zoo sent their remaining bull Msholo to the San Diego Wild Animal Park to create a second breeding group at the institution.
The North American Region Studbook for the African Elephant states the 2003 San Diego/Lowry Park imports were born at Kruger National Park and were brought to America from Hlane Royal National Park, the other of the two protected areas for elephants in Swaziland.