There were other differences between the two zoos. One difference was the fresh air available in Potter Park Zoo. They also felt that Tombi and her herd mates were creating a little crisis by digging in a new area. It might have been more appropriate to provide the elephants a new pasture. On the other hand, there were sometimes weeks when the elephants were stranded without their herd. They felt the elephants might have been getting a bit stir-crazy if they were kept at only one place too long.
Tombi loved her new home, and she would put on a happy face for all the visitors who wanted to pet her. It was very sad that they had to relocate her, but the Indianapolis Zoo was giving her a good home and a happy life. The other elephants were friendly and fun to be around. Many people liked Tombi’s personality and would love to see her again someday.
Alongside her studies, Tombi is very active in the nonprofit, Pursue Greatness (PG), which is focused on youth development in Uganda. The personal and professional influences that Tombi receives outside of the lab are what fuel her passion, and she has expressed her interest in sharing this passion with others.
At the Potter Park Zoo, Tombi was kept as a single elephant until her transfer to the Indianapolis Zoo in 1989 under a breeding loan agreement. She was purchased in 1998.
Tombi is a slender elephant with a square, narrow head and two even Tusks that curve in. She is a very calm and stable elephant for the handlers to work with. In June 2009, Tombi weighed 7700 pounds.