Are the elephants leaving the Virginia Zoo?

Posted at 4:37 PM, May 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-14 19:23:31-04

Norfolk, Va. - The Virginia Zoo is now on the hunt for another special friend. They 're looking for a third elephant for Cita and Lisa, the two existing elephants in their program right now.

They say recent studies show that elephants thrive when they have lots of contact with each other. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums requires that zoos with elephants have at least three of them together so that they are more mentally and physically healthy.

There are about 19 zoos, including the Virginia Zoo, that need to meet this requirement by next year. Failing to meet this requirement could mean Cita and Lisa could be sent to live elsewhere.

"We would have to meet the guidelines, and if we didn`t obtain a third elephant, we would send our elephants to another zoo," says executive director Greg Bockheim.

Right now the zoo is meeting with several groups to discuss their options. If the two elephants move out, a group of white rhinos could move in.

"It would be absolutely sad to lose the elephants, but we really do have to think of what`s best for them and their future."

Would you like to email your thoughts about this? You can contact the zoo here.