1 year later, elephants have made Omaha zoo their home – but staff doesn't want
The zoo saved these elephants from being culled in Swaziland! Given that option, the zoo did great.
By Chris Peters / World-Herald staff writer Mar 10, 2017 Updated 6 hrs ago
In the year since elephants arrived at Omaha’s zoo, they have grown into a unified social group, and each elephant is further along in training than zoo officials expected them to be at this point.
“It’s beyond what my expectation was,” said Dan Cassidy, the general curator for the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. “(Their training) seems to go in spurts, then all of the sudden they’re doing this, this and this. When they pick up one thing, it’s like they just leap, then it takes a while to learn another thing, then they just shoot ahead.”
Omaha’s six elephants arrived on a Boeing 747 cargo plane one year ago Saturday, to the elation of many zoo fans but the disapproval of some animal-rights groups. The 36-hour journey from Swaziland to Omaha included stops in Senegal, Texas and Kansas, depositing some of the herd’s elephants at two other American zoos. Veterinarians accompanied the elephants along the way, and zoo staff met the elephants at Eppley Airfield.
Spectators lined 10th Street in the Old Market, waving and applauding as a semitrailer truck drove the crated African elephants to their new home in the zoo’s new $73 million African Grasslands exhibit.
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