PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Somerset County location of the Pittsburgh Zoo is now home to three elephants from Botswana, but getting there was no easy task.

The handlers were forced to find a new home for the elephants after one of their other handlers died following an accident from undetermined origins back in 2010.

Under wildlife laws in that country, any animal involved in such an accident is supposed to be put to death, but the Curea family didn’t like the idea of putting the elephants that had become family pets to death.

They put out the call to find a new home for the elephants and the Pittsburgh Zoo, thanks to generous supporters, answered.

The 6,000-pound elephants made the 20-hour flight in 4,000-pound crates to the Pittsburgh International Airport last week. Then they were transported to the zoo’s Somerset County compound where hopefully they will be part of future breeding efforts.

The Curea family couldn’t believe how beautiful the grounds of western Pennsylvania were and hopes the U.S.A. will find the elephants as much a gift as the people of Botswana have.

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
International Conservation Center

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Lynne Hayes-Freeland