Safari Park Elephants May Move to Tucson

Elephants could make the move early next year

By Sarah Grieco
|  Tuesday, Aug 2, 2011  |  Updated 6:59 AM PDT
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As many as five elephants could be transported from San Diego Safari Park to the Reid Park Zoo in Arizona.

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The San Diego Safari Park may be giving up some of its elephants early next year to a zoo in Arizona.

Per an agreement with the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, the Safari Park could release four or five elephants to the zoo as a part of the ongoing Elephant Species Survival Program through the Taxon Advisory Group, according to Reid Park Zoo Administrator Susan Basford.

“The group decides what the best placement is for these animals,” Basford said.
San Diego Zoo has strict guidelines for animal transfers.”

The reason the elephants are being moved is to help diversify the elephant population, said San Diego Zoo Public Relations Manager Christina Simmons.

The Reid Park Zoo is currently constructing a new exhibit space and is expected to feature the elephants sometime next year.

Construction is scheduled for completion in January of next year. Reid Park Zoo hopes to open the 3-acre elephant exhibit sometime in the spring.

“We want to make sure that they are really comfortable in their exhibit,” Basford said. “It will be a big change for all of them. It will take a little while for the acclimation.”

San Diego Safari Park cannot release an exact date of the move, as problems occurred in the past when people followed trucks containing animals.

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