Published August 20, 2008
DALLAS – Jenny the elephant isn't going anywhere.
The Dallas Zoo announced Wednesday that the pachyderm who weighs around 10,000 pounds will remain at her home of 22 years following an intense controversy over plans to send the animal to a wildlife park in Mexico.
The decision to keep the elephant in Dallas "serves Jenny's best interests," said Gregg Hudson, the zoo's executive director.
Dallas Zoo officials had planned to ship Jenny to Mexico after her companion died in May. African elephants become unhappy when left alone.
But activists ripped the plan, saying 32-year-old Jenny is a nervous elephant who fears cars and would be miserable at the drive-through park in Mexico. Critics of the planned move had argued that Jenny would be much better off at the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee. That 2,700-acre facility is a haven for troubled elephants and is home to 17 of the animals. Protests were held in front of the Dallas Zoo last month.
A Dallas Zoo spokesman said they plan to get a companion elephant for Jenny in the "next several months." A news release from the zoo says that Jenny has "adjusted well to Keke's passing, and is in good spirits."
Dallas Zoo officials said they have also expedited plans for a new elephant habitat. It had been set to be completed by late 2011, but is now expected to open by the end of next year or early 2010.