Zoos in Kansas, Nebraska and Texas have received federal approval to bring in new elephants from Africa. The three zoos said they would work to quickly get the elephants settled in America in a joint statement Friday morning.
The Sedgwick County Zoo has a new elephant exhibit that will be opening in the spring.
The Dallas Zoo and two other zoos in the US have gotten the OK to house elephants threatened by drought conditions in southeast Africa - a move opposed by animal welfare activists. The Dallas Zoo is one of three US zoos that are being criticized for a plan to import elephants that live in drought-stricken Swaziland.
The announcement came in September that the three zoos would partner with Swaziland to help save the elephant and rhino species.
Six of relocated elephants are expected to join four elephants who are already living in the Dallas Zoo's Giants of the Savannah habitat.
"Since July, when the elephants were removed from the parks, they have lived in temporary holding areas called bomas". "It is deeply irresponsible of the USFWS to allow this precedent-setting removal of African elephants from Africa for a lifetime of captivity".
The organization In Defense of Animals sent a news release of its own.
Moving the elephants comes as part of a greater aim at conservation. The move has been contested by animal rights groups.
"Please avoid supporting this suffering and the conservation con - do not visit the zoo". "You've got to be breeding them", he says.