BR Zoo elephant moving to National Zoo

Bozie the Elephant
Bozie the Elephant

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge Zoo's elephant Bozie will be moving to the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington D.C. later this month.

The decision comes after the zoo's other elephant, Judy, died in March at the age of 46.

"We have to put Bozie's best interest as our first priority.  That means we need to send her where she can live out her life with other Asian elephants in a larger herd capacity than our current exhibit can accommodate," said Baton Rouge Zoo Director Phil Frost.

The Zoo will be hosting a going away party for Bozie on Saturday, May 18th. The community is being invited to send Bozie off in style and wish her well. Bozie will be leaving the Zoo shortly after.

The Baton Rouge Zoo's elephant exhibit built in the late 60's is no longer considered state-of-the-art for a variety of reasons. While our current exhibit exceeds the requirements to house two elephants, it cannot accommodate more than two. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) now requires accredited zoos holding elephants to have a minimum of three elephants. We now know elephants need to be kept in larger, more social groups and as a result, most new elephant exhibits have the capacity to house at least 5 and some as many as 12 elephants.

The AZA Accreditation Board decided that due to Judy's failing health, it was in the best interest of both elephants to keep them together in Baton Rouge for as long as possible.

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