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Seattle elephants resting 'in comfort' at San Diego Zoo

No decision yet on when Seattle elephants will leave San Diego Zoo for Oklahoma City

Two elephants brought to the San Diego Zoo, after their trip from Seattle to Oklahoma City was interrupted by stormy weather, continued to "rest in comfort," officials said.

Bamboo, 48, and Chai, 36, were being transported from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle to the Oklahoma City Zoo when a storm caused their handlers to ask the San Diego Zoo for permission to provide space for the animals. At Las Vegas, the two looked tired, officials said.

They arrived in San Diego on Friday and are in the zoo's animal care center for aging and geriatric elephants. They are not on exhibit for the public.

No decision has been made on when the elephants will resume their journey to Oklahoma City. The two were being transported in temperature-controlled crates atop a flatbed truck, accompanied by handlers and veterinarians.

"Both animals are hydrated and they are moving about normally," said Nancy Hawkes, the general curator at Woodland Park.

Woodland Park keepers are with Bamboo and Chai to provide care.

"Bamboo is showing signs of contentment by rumbling and purring to her keepers," Hawkes said.

The shift of the Woodland Park's last two elephants to the zoo in Oklahoma City was highly controversial in Seattle, where elephant lovers wanted them transferred to a sanctuary in Northern California.

A lawsuit filed in federal court to block the transfer to Oklahoma City was rejected last week. Within hours, the two were in crates and had left Seattle.

When the truck stopped in Ogden, Utah, keepers decided to change the route. At Las Vegas, the elephants were inspected and keepers decided to seek permission to take the animals to the San Diego Zoo.

"In Las Vegas, the team assessed [that] the elephants were getting tired and as a precaution, we changed course to head to San Diego Zoo," said Deborah Jensen, president and CEO at Woodland Park.

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