A group of 35 retired circus elephants are finally getting the life they deserve by moving to a spacious new home at a conservation centre in Florida.
The elephants from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus were purchased by White Oak Conservation from the circus’s parent company Feld Entertainment.
It’s been a long process to get the ball rolling on the elephants’ new homes; it all started five years ago when Feld Entertainment decided they were going to phase out the use of animals in its performances. The group of 35 elephants are said to be the largest community of Asian elephants in the Western Hemisphere.
Their new home in Florida is currently being constructed, with hopes the conservation centre welcoming its new residents next year. The elephants will have an impressive 2,500-acre habitat all to themselves.
According to National Geographic, the elephants’ fancy new home will consist of several different landscapes including wetlands, grasslands and woodlands, as well as 11 waterholes. Not too shabby!
Owners of the centre Mark and Kimbra Walter, said:
Elephants are majestic and intelligent animals, and they are in dire need. For too long, humans have decimated the native habitats, poached, and removed these animals from their natural home.
Our family is committed to improving the lives of individual elephants and ensuring the survival of elephants in the wild.
Dan Ashe, President and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) added, ‘AZA strongly supports White Oak Conservation’s efforts on behalf of elephants. By providing these elephants the space to explore, to interact with one another, and to engage in natural behaviours, they are being given a key element in animal welfare and wellness — choice.’
Hopefully other companies will follow Feld Entertainment’s example and stop the use of performing animals.
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