Bamboo and Chai will be lonely no more.
The Woodland Park Zoo has just announced that it will find a new home for its two solitary elephants, 47-year-old Bamboo and 35-year-old Chai, both female Asian elephants, that will allow them to be social creatures as nature intended.
It could at least six months to locate new elephant digs, but we’re sure Bamboo and Chai are happy with the news and, being elephants, will never forget the compassion shown them.
“It is in the best interest of Bamboo and Chai to live in a social, multi-animal herd in a healthy environment,” said the Zoo’s President and CEO Dr. Deborah Jensen. “This can best be accomplished by relocating them to another accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums facility that is held to exemplary standards of care. Having only one or two elephants at the zoo for the long term would work against the broader social welfare of Chai and Bamboo and we are committed to following the recommendations of elephant health and welfare experts.”
The decision to find a better home for the beloved beasts follows the death of 45-year-old Watoto, an African elephant that was euthanized in August after falling ill.
Jensen said the zoo worked for several months with the Elephant Task Force to determine that adding to the herd was not realistic moving forward.
“They will be a part of our family for the rest of their lives and we will continue to follow their welfare at their new home,” Jensen said.
In a statement, Mayor Ed Murray said, “The zoo board is making the right decision to find a new home for Woodland Park’s elephants, one with more habitat and an interesting social environment. I know this was not an easy decision for the zoo’s senior leaders and the dedicated staff who care for these animals. My concern remains that we must find the best possible facility for Chai and Bamboo, and I believe this decision is a step in the right direction.