All three elephants at Zoo Knoxville moving to sanctuary
The move will help the animals fulfill their social needs as they get older.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - All three elephants at Zoo Knoxville will be moving to the Elephant Sanctuary in Middle Tennessee, zoo officials announced on Monday. Zoo officials said the Elephant Sanctuary has more elephants, which will help the animals to fulfill their social needs as they get older.
Tonka, Jana and Edie are considered senior citizens by elephant standards. “Realizing that Knoxville’s herd will be facing inevitable losses in the near future, Zoo Knoxville began exploring options to ensure their social needs would be met for the remainder of their lives,” officials said.
Zoo Knoxville’s elephant caretakers will train the elephants to enter a travel crate through positive reinforcement. Once Tonka and Jana are comfortable in the crate, these two elephants will be moved. Edie will move later in 2023, zoo officials said.
The Elephant Sanctuary is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which zoo officials said will allow the elephants to still receive impeccable care.
Tonka, Jana and Edie are the only elephants at the zoo, so the zoo will be without elephants after the move. A master plan is in the works for that part of the zoo, which will outline the future of the elephants.
“We are completing a new master plan for that part of the zoo that we will be sharing soon and that plan will include elephants at Zoo Knoxville with the support of the community,” zoo officials said.
Zoo Knoxville officials said this plan would be released soon.
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