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Seattle zoo transfers ownership of elephants to other zoos

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

Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo has transferred ownership of its Asian elephants to zoos in Oklahoma City and St. Louis, where the animals are now living.

Female elephants Bamboo and Chai were moved to Oklahoma City Zoo this past May when the zoo closed its elephant exhibit. Another female Asian elephant, Sri (SEE) has been living at the Saint Louis Zoo since 2002.

Seattle officials say the ownership transfer is standard practice among institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. The decision was made after a request from the zoos. The three elephants were under loan agreements, which could have meant any offspring of the elephants could have been returned to Seattle. All three elephants are older and not likely to reproduce.

The Seattle zoo says the elephants are doing well in their new homes.