A Kansas zoo will lose its accreditation to have elephants if its officials can’t find a way to upgrade the animals’ enclosure.
The Sedgwick County Zoological Society on Tuesday asked county commissioners to pay $5.3 million of a proposed $10.5 million elephant barn. Zoo officials say the commissioners have three weeks to consider the funding before they move to relocate the animals.
The zoo has housed two African elephants, named Stephanie and Cinda, since 1972.
The change is necessitated by guidelines passed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2011. The association requires zoos with two females to have space for at least one more elephant by September 2016. It aims to protect the social animals from living alone.
The commissioners are scheduled to vote later this month.