Seattle Zoo Sends Last Elephants To Oklahoma After Court Ruling
Woodland Park Zoo's remaining two elephants were loaded onto a truck and driven away Wednesday after a federal appeals court cleared the way for their move to Oklahoma.
A truck carrying the elephants in crates left Wednesday evening, hours after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied an emergency motion to prevent the transfer, The Associated Press reported.
Opponents had argued the move to the Oklahoma City Zoo would worsen the quality of life for Chai and Bamboo. They wanted the elephants sent to a sanctuary instead.
Woodland Park Zoo President and CEO Dr. Deborah Jensen hailed the decision in a statement and said that "it is important for us to move them now while the weather conditions are favorable." The trip is expected to take about 40 hours, almost non-stop.
Jensen has said the Oklahoma City Zoo has the right environment for the elephants — a state of the art facility, a high-caliber zoo-keeping staff and stable leadership.
The Oklahoma City Zoo already has four female elephants and one male.
Chai and Bamboo’s transfer marks the end of Woodland Park Zoo’s elephant program, which goes back to 1921. The program was intended to raise awareness of elephants and promote conservation, but critics say it’s had the opposite effect.