US Zoos Secretly Fly Elephants From Swaziland
Animal rights groups decry clandestine sedation and removal of ‘the stolen 18’ as officials say drought conditions jeopardised the pachyderms’ well-being Three American zoos have pulled off an audacious clandestine operation to fly a group of elephants out of Swaziland despite a legal challenge to block the transfer, enraging conservationists who claim that removing elephants from the wild for display in zoos is cruel and outdated. The 18 elephants — three males and 15 females ranging in age from six to 25 — were sedated, loaded onto crates and placed on a large cargo plane that arrived in Swaziland on Tuesday. Pictures taken at the scene show several large crates, ostensibly for elephants, being picked up by a crane and placed onto trucks.
The elephants will be split among three zoos — the Dallas zoo, Sedgwick County zoo in Kansas and Henry Doorly zoo in Nebraska — where they will be put on exhibit and used for breeding purposes.