30 circus elephants relocated to Florida wildlife refuge

30 circus elephants relocated to Florida wildlife refuge

YULEE, Fla. — A Florida wildlife refuge is making space for 30 former circus elephants.

The pachyderms are moving from the Center for Elephant Conservation in Polk County to a 2,500-acre space at the White Oak Conservation Center north of Jacksonville.

“Elephants are majestic and intelligent animals, and they are in dire need,” said Kimbra Walter, who owns the center with her husband Mark. “For too long, humans have decimated the native habitats, poached, and removed these animals from their natural home.”

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The 17,000-acre wildlife refuge is building nearly a dozen water holes and three barns stocked with veterinary equipment.

The majority of the Asian elephants worked with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus until they were retired in 2016.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.