Zoo plans to relocate 2 elephants, bring in white rhinos

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Zoo’s executive director says he is planning to relocate two elderly elephants, as long as he can find a suitable home for them.

The Virginian-Pilot reports Greg Bockheim says the two elephants being relocated are 42-year-old Lisa and 47-year-old Cita.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Bockheim attributed the elephants’ planned relocation to the zoo’s accreditation agency, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which requires zoos with elephants to house at least three of them. According to the association, social interaction is an important part of elephants’ mental and physical health.

In place of the elephants, Bockheim says the zoo plans to bring in additional white rhinos, who he says are a better fit for the zoo, particularly because of the zoo’s desire to support wildlife sustainability.

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