"The real concern about transport is if it's being rushed, if it's not being executed properly, with a detailed plan to ensure safety," Elephant Justice Project attorney Claire Tonry told Washington's K5 News in late March.
Now, activists' concerns have been realized. The Seattle Times reports that severe weather conditions in Wyoming and Colorado forced the caravan to reroute, ending up at the San Diego Zoo. Zoo veterinarians reportedly found the elephants exhibiting signs of muscle stiffness and exhaustion after a long ride. Critics are already saying that the bungled move is all part of a greater mistake not to move the Asian elephants to a sanctuary.
"It seems rather odd they rushed out of Seattle with not the best forecast," Alyne Fortgang, co-founder of the Seattle-based Elephant Justice Project, told U-T San Diego after the elephants arrived 1,000 miles away from their destination. "They could have kept them here a few more days until the weather cleared."
The elephants are still supposed to be moved to Oklahoma City, but a date has not yet been set for the move.