Judge to hear case challenging Seattle elephants move

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Bamboo, at left, and Chai. (Photos: Woodland Park Zoo)

SEATTLE (AP) — A King County judge is set to hear a case challenging the Woodland Park Zoo’s ownership of two Seattle elephants that are to be moved to the Oklahoma City Zoo.

The Elephant Justice Project is seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the animals’ move at a hearing Friday afternoon in King County Superior Court.

The group’s lawsuit alleges the city of Seattle did not have legal authority to give away the elephants and other property when it contracted with the nonprofit Woodland Park Zoological Society to manage and operate the zoo.

In court records, the zoo society says the city acted within its authority when it transferred ownership under an ordinance passed in 2001.

The zoo is planning to send its two Asian elephants, Bamboo and Chai, to Oklahoma City. Activists wanted them to go to a wildlife sanctuary.

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