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Two aging elephants brought to San Diego Zoo for veterinary care

August 23, 2009 | 11:08 am


Two Asian elephants in need of better veterinary care have been removed from a Texas facility by the federal government and brought to the San Diego Zoo.

Jewel and Tina, both thought to be in their 40s, arrived at the zoo Saturday after being removed from Leggett, Texas, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates zoos and other animal facilities.

The Leggett facility's owner agreed to the removal as part of a deal in which the government dropped its demand for fines.

The zoo's Prebys Elephant Care Center is designed to minister to aging elephants. Jewel and Tina will not be on public exhibit for several months, zoo officials said.

Officials hope the two will eventually integrate into the herd of seven elephants at the zoo's Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey, opened this spring.

-- Tony Perry

Photo: Jewel, left, and Tina, Asian elephants now at the San Diego Zoo. Credit: San Diego Zoo