Dallas Zoo welcomes five African elephants

A cargo plane carrying 17 African elephants landed at Fort Worth's Alliance Airport early Friday morning and five of them were at the Dallas Zoo by the end of the day.

The elephants will be part of the Dallas Zoo's "Giants of the Savanna" exhibit, but some animal rights groups weren't happy. They believed the animals should have remained in the wild.

An animal rights group sued to stop the transfer, but a federal judge cleared the way for them to come to the U.S.

The 12 remaining elephants are headed to zoos in Kansas and Nebraska. All of them are from Swaziland, in Southern Africa, and needed new homes because of a severe drought there that threatens their natural habitat and their survival.

The five Dallas Zoo elephants were transported in giant crates on large trucks. Each of the elephants weighed about 8,000 pounds. Police accompanied the elephants' transport.

The Dallas Zoo's elephant exhibit is one of only two in the world that allows elephants to mingle with giraffes.

The elephants will be in a standard 30-day quarantine, as required by law. After that, they will be slowly introduced to the other animals in the exhibit.

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