Commission to vote on giving up Niabi elephants

The Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission will vote Tuesday on giving up the Niabi Zoo elephants.

The elephant barn that both Babe and Sophie live in is reportedly too small. Plus the elephants have to stay in it throughout most of the winter.

“It’s when the winter months set in, and they have to be in those small rooms,” elephant expert Alan Roocroft said when asked what the elephants don’t like. “A large animal like that doesn’t do very well.”

A month ago, the county board held a public meeting to discuss the future of the animals. County workers have hired Roocroft to see whether the animals should be moved to another zoo or sanctuary. He says that the animals need to be moved.

The commission will vote on the measure after their county board meeting Tuesday. That starts at 5:30 p.m. in the county offices of downtown Rock Island. There’s no word on how long it would take for the zoo to move the elephants.

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