Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Aging elephant to move to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

By Carol McGraw Updated: May 22, 2014 at 6:05 pm

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo will soon have a new resident.

Joni, an elderly African elephant, will join four others in the zoo's Encounter Africa exhibit.

Joni's sidekick Ladybird died in March, leaving her alone at the Greenville Zoo in South Carolina. Greenville officials decided not to keep elephants any longer because new standards would have required them to devote a third of their entire zoo to elephant care. Since elephants are very social animals, they decided to find a new home for her. Five zoos were in the running.

"We are excited to be the choice for her new home," zoo President Bob Chastain said in an email announcement. Encounter Africa was built to provide special care for aging elephants.

Her date of arrival in Colorado Springs has not been set. Cheyenne Mountain zoo officials said Joni must receive a negative result on a recent TB test before being transported across state lines.

Then a date for her move will be set.

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