BACKGROUND | SOURCE IDA
The Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley, Illinois, recently made the commendable decision to relocate two female Asian elephants—Sophie and Babe—to another facility that can better meet their needs. IDA and our supporters have long urged the zoo and the Rock Island County board to send the elephants to a facility that offers a more suitable climate, ample space, excellent veterinary care, and the companionship of other elephants. The zoo has reportedly narrowed down a search to three facilities and has stated that the elephants will be moved by winter.
Sophie and Babe must be moved to a facility that offers dramatically improved conditions—not more of the same. At ages 43 and 37, both elephants have chronic health problems exacerbated by the zoo’s tiny enclosure and long, cold winters that have kept the elephants confined in their cramped barn, sometimes for 24 hours a day. Sophie’s health…
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