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Woodland Park Zoo Elephants Resume Their Journey to Oklahoma Zoo

15 May 2015 3:22 PM | Deleted user

SEATTLE - The Woodland Park Zoo elephants' journey to their new home appears to be nearly at an end.

Chai and Bamboo and their team of handlers left the San Diego Zoo on Monday night en route to the Oklahoma City Zoo.

"We are so grateful to San Diego Zoo for providing a comfortable rest stop for Chai and Bamboo while we worked with our colleagues and the animal transport team to line up logistics for the final leg of the journey," said Dr. Deborah Jensen, Woodland Park Zoo President and CEO.

The Asian elephants left Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo on April 15, but were taken to San Diego instead due to bad weather.

The Elephant Justice Project tried to block the move to Oklahoma City last week, arguing in court that the trip from  Southern California to Oklahoma City posed new dangers for the elephants, including the heat driving across Arizona.

A federal judge disagreed and ruled that Woodland Park Zoo staff had taken appropriate measures to protect the animals during transport.

"Meticulous planning has gone into this transport. With a window of favorable weather, expert transport staff available, and a new route coordinated, Chai and Bamboo are ready to move to their new home and family," added Jensen.

The elephants are traveling with five Woodland Park Zoo elephant care staff, three veterinarians and six expert animal transport staff.

They are traveling in separate, ventilated crates equipped with heating and evaporative cooler units, as well as closed circuit cameras that allow staff to monitor the animals remotely in real time.

The group also stops every three hours to check on the elephants and to give them fresh food and water. 

The elephants could arrive at the Oklahoma Zoo on Tuesday night.

There they will join a multi-generational herd of five other elephants.

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