A convoy of flatbed trucks, with the elephants in huge crates, crossed the country to Quebec and then travelled south to Washington. The three-day trip included breaks every four hours to change drivers and check on the animals.
The elephant complex at the Smithsonian will provide more space and better conditions for the three females. They’re joining the four resident elephants, Ambika, Shanthi, Bozie and Kandula, the only male.
Colleen Baird, a curator from the Calgary Zoo made the trip to help with the transition. In an interview with the CBC she said, “it’s going smoothly so far.’
“They are getting used to their new home, it’s taking a bit of time,” she said. At first the three huddled together, but after a few days they began to separate from each other and explore on their own.”
Two of the Calgary elephants and two of the Washington elephants may be familiar with one another. They were all adopted from the same elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka, around the same time back in the 1970’s.