Oklahoma City’s new elephants detoured by storm, ride it out in Cali

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Photo: Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

SEATTLE – Two elephants making their way in caravan to Oklahoma City Zoo have been detoured by stormy weather.

Two days ago, female Asian elephants, Bamboo and Chai, departed Seattle on a custom-made elephant transport vehicle for their new home at Oklahoma City Zoo.

The caravan had to change course in Salt Lake City because a storm in Colorado and Wyoming was expected to get a lot more severe.

Worried that the added travel time would harm the elephants, a decision was made to make a stop at San Diego Zoo and allow the elephants to rest.

Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo says that a whole cadre of caregivers is accompanying the accompanying the truck transporting Bamboo and Chai.

The team has three elephant experts and two veterinarians along with a transportation expert and other staff.

They’ve been making stops every few hours for wellness checks and to give the elephants food and change their water.

Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo, says an extra day on the road would have been challenging for Bamboo and Chai. “For their well-being, we made the proactive decision to head to San Diego Zoo. They have expert elephant and veterinary staff, the room to accommodate our elephants and the appropriate equipment on site to unload our elephants,” said Ramirez.

On arrival at San Diego Zoo, Bamboo and Chai were unloaded from their travel crates into an indoor facility where the elephants will be in quarantine, a standard procedure for any new animal at the zoo.

As you can imagine, the elephants were a little stiff from the ride.

Veterinarians have looked the elephants over and say they needed to walk around and stretch their legs.

“We don’t know how long our elephants will stay at San Diego Zoo. We want to give them time to rest comfortably,” said Ramirez.

Collaborative efforts between Woodland Park, San Diego and Oklahoma City Zoos “will continue to focus on the safety, well-being and preservation of the animals in our care,” said Dr. Dwight Lawson, Oklahoma City Zoo Director and CEO.

For information, visit www.zoo.org/elephantnews.

Report a typo


Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.