Seattle elephants arrive safely at Oklahoma City Zoo
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Two Asian elephants from Seattle have finally arrived in Oklahoma City after political opposition, legal challenges and stormy weather.
Bamboo and Chai arrived safely at the Oklahoma City Zoo Wednesday morning around 3 a.m. The animals will undergo multiple check-ups and will be quarantined for 30 days before joining the other five elephants at the zoo.
The female elephants’ trip began in April after a federal appeals court declined to block the transfer. The move was opposed by animal rights activists and at least one member of the Seattle City Council.
“They’ve been captive elephants their whole lives, they belong in a sanctuary where they can live out their lives in better health, better conditions,” said Marty Spiegel. “This is wrong.”
A storm last month diverted the pachyderms to San Diego, where they had stayed for a few weeks. The trip from California to Oklahoma took about 30 hours.
Zoo officials say the habitat in Oklahoma City will be better for the animals than it was in the Woodland Park Zoo.
“It’s a bigger facility than we have, it’s a brand new exhibit that was opened in 2011,” said Dr. Deborah Jensen of the zoo.