Detroit Zoo Elephants Retiring in Central Valley
An exotic animal sanctuary in the Central Valley is awaiting the arrival of two endangered Asian elephants from the Detroit Zoo. As Bob Hensley explains, controversy erupted over the decision to relocate the aging elephants.
Wednesday, December 8, 2004
They’re named Wanda and Winky. It’s hoped the elephants will soon leave the Detroit Zoo for a 23-hundred acre sanctuary near San Andreas. Wanda is 45 and Winky is 51 and they suffer from arthritis after walking around on concrete zoo floors. Pat Derby founded the non-profit Performing Animal Welfare Society, which operates the sanctuary. She says the director of the Detroit Zoo knew the elephants needed a change. DERBY :10—He wanted them to be in a warmer climate with more space and with other elephants. The Detroit Zoo is the first in the nation to send animals to a sanctuary for ethical reasons. An impasse with opponents from a zoological organization who claimed Wanda and Winky should stay in a zoo was recently resolved. That cleared the way for them to come to the PAWS sanctuary, where they’ll enjoy 100 acres of grassland and lakes as well as the company of four other Asian elephants. Bob Hensley KXJZ News.