Norfolk, Va. – The Virginia Zoo’s beloved elephant pair, Lisa and Cita, have arrived at their new retirement home at Zoo Miami.
The girls took a 22-hour road trip from Norfolk to Miami, with frequent stops for water, hay and watermelons, and arrived at their new home on Tuesday.
They were accompanied by multiple animal care staff members and veterinarians from both zoos.
“Preparing and transporting aging elephants for this kind of trip is no easy task,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo, who made the trip to Miami. “But we planned a head of time to help ensure the trip was safe and stress-free as possible for them.”
Lisa and Cita are tired from the trip, the Virginia Zoo reports, but they are adjusting well. The girls will remain quarantined until their debut on May 20th.
Until then, they remain in the barn with Zoo Miami’s resident African elephants Peggy and Mabel, so they can familiarize themselves with their new friends.
Virginia Zoo staff members will stay at Zoo Miami until Monday to continue working with the staff, showing them techniques and cues used with Lisa and Cita.
“As Lisa and Cita acclimate to their new home at Zoo Miami, we will never forget the impact their presence has had on all of us in Hampton Roads,” said Bockheim.
Lisa and Cita are expected to enjoy their new home in Miami. The warmer temperatures are a big plus, and they are sure to enjoy the softer ground and larger exhibit space!