Seattle group asks USDA to investigate Chai the elephant’s death at OKC Zoo

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle-based group is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the recent death of an Asian elephant at the Oklahoma City Zoo.

The elephant, named Chai, was transferred from Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo to the Oklahoma facility eight months ago, along with another elephant, named Bamboo.

Zookeepers found Chai dead in the elephant yard Saturday morning.

The advocacy group Friends of the Woodland Park Zoo Elephants says it filed a complaint Tuesday with the USDA.

The organization says it’s concerned that Chai died at age 37 — which it says is far younger than the expected Asian elephant lifespan of 60 to 70 years in the wild and the median lifespan of 47 years for zoo elephants.

Members opposed the transfer of the elephants to zoo, saying they should have been sent to an elephant sanctuary.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.