Niabi Prepares to Say Farewell to Elephants

 COAL VALLEY, Ill. (AP) _ Western Illinois’ Niabi Zoo may be saying goodbye to
its aging elephants.
 
An expert report says it’d cost millions to upgrade the Coal Valley facility’s
enclosure for the pair of pachyderms, who are 37 and 40. Officials say they’re
the only elephants at an Illinois zoo.
 
 The (Moline) Dispatch says the report, commissioned by
Rock Island County officials, recommends sending the pair to a warmer climate
and adding rhinos.
 
 The elder elephant has health problems and now sleeps standing up. Authorities
say she could injure zoo staff if she were to fall down.
 
 The Niabi Zoo lost its accreditation last year after the Association of Zoos
and Aquariums said some exhibits, including the elephant enclosure, were
lacking.
 
     A final decision will be made by the county’s Forest Preserve Commission.

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