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Asian elephant Punch and African elephant Mikki are set to leave Louisville Zoo in the US in order to relocate to Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary. The extract below is taken as a direct quote from the Louisville Zoo website. You can read the entire piece here: Announcement | Louisville Zoo

"... like many other institutions, our Zoo has arrived at the crossroads of tradition and reality. The gap continues to widen between what we can realistically provide our aging elephants and the clearer understanding we have of their needs. Over the past half-century, our recognition of the species’ complex social structure has evolved dramatically. An experienced matriarch typically leads a herd comprised of her aunts, her sisters, her daughters, her nieces, her young sons, and even her grandchildren. If enough resources are available, elephant herds can contain dozens of individuals.
Recent events, including the loss of Mikki’s young son, Fitz, to the insidious elephant herpes virus, have prompted us to reassess the dynamics of our elephant duo — which now falls below the minimum herd size mandated by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Punch, at 53, is considered geriatric and Mikki, at 37, is gracefully entering her senior years. For every resident animal, we create a care plan for all stages of their life. We have reached the point where it is imperative that we secure a place for Mikki and Punch where the bonded pair are both able to retire together, and that their complex social needs are met through the end of their lives."

Find out more about Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary here: Sanctuary | Louisville Zoo


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