As the air capital of the world, Wichita airports welcome all kinds of travelers. Today, six African elephants landed in Wichita, bound for the Sedgwick County Zoo. These elephants are six of 17 that departed Swaziland, Africa on Thursday. The other 11 elephants will find homes at zoos in Dallas and Omaha.
Swaziland has recently declared a state of disaster due to drought. All three United States Zoos participating in the transfer released statements ensuring that the animals would be moved quickly to safe homes with secure futures.
The importation of these elephants was approved in January by permits issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This transfer was almost overturned when challenged by the Friends of Animals group, but the issue was resolved by a U.S. district judge earlier this week.
The elephants will take residence in the Sedgwick Count Zoo’s new exhibit, The Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley, which is slated to open to the public during Memorial Day weekend.