After years of lobbying to get two African elephants residing in defunct zoo in downtown Buenos Aires, the pair will be relocated to a sanctuary in Brazil.
Officials made the announcement this week after the city of Buenos Aires signed off on an agreement to move Kuky and Pupy from its EcoParque to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil.
“Kuky and Pupy, both female African elephants, arrived at the park together in 1993, and now they will be moving to sanctuary together,” the Global Sanctuary for Elephants said in a statement July 1. “We are thrilled to be working with the Buenos Aires team once again and look forward to moving forward with bringing these two lovely ladies home.”
The pair will eventually join a 35-year-old female African elephant named Kenya, who is living at Ecoparque Mendoza in Argentina. She has been alone for decades.
With permits and quarantines, the trio might not be together for at least another six months.
“We are overjoyed about what this decision will mean for Kuky and Pupy. It is also exciting news for Kenya, who will now have two other elephants joining her once she is settled in,” the sanctuary added.
The Global Sanctuary for Elephants opened in 2012 to address the need for a suitable habitat for the elephants of South America.
Of 12 countries on that continent, five have bans on captive elephants. Still the sanctuary counts 50 captive elephants it would prefer to see away from zoos and substandard environments.
And, Elephant Sanctuary Brazil is the only such facility in Latin America and is currently home to four female Asian elephants after its first rescues arrived in 2016.
Soon they will have some friends nearby, once the African elephant section is complete.
Kuky has the wheel in this photo below. Pupy is next to her.
It's official: The City of Buenos Aires has signed a decree declaring that Kuky and Pupy will be future residents of Elephant Sanctuary Brazil! Due to logistics, their arrival is at least six months away, but we are overjoyed by this decision. More info: https://t.co/tjlkJB3WHq pic.twitter.com/nHBB0SoGGC— Global Elephants (@GlobalElephants) July 1, 2020
Main Photo Tomás Francisco Cuesta/Global Sanctuary for Elephants