It's official. Babe and Sophie will be moving to a new home.
The Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission voted unanimously tonight to transfer Niabi Zoo's elephants to another facility on loan.
There's no definite date set for when the elephants will be moved. nor has their been any talk yet of just which zoo or sanctuary they will go to. The goal though is to have Babe and Sophie in their new home before winter.
Our cold winters and the unsuitability of the elephant's indoor habitat are among the biggest reasons the County Forest Preserve Commission was told the elephants need to be moved in the first place.
The elephant expert who made that recommendation will be part of the next phase in this process too. That's finding the elephants a new, more suitable home to live out the rest of their lives.
"This entire process has been rooted in us doing what's best for the animals," said Marc Heinzman, Niabi Zoo Director. "And to me that is something that Quad Cities should be proud of because that is the distinguishing factor between a good quality zoo and a roadside attraction with animals."
The Forest Preservation Commission voted to send Babe and Sophie to a different facility on loan. That means Rock Island county will retain ownership, and a say in the elephants' future, wherever they end up.