Officials at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk confirmed Tuesday morning that both of its elephants are moving to Zoo Miami.
Lisa and Cita are expected to make the trip to Florida in the Spring where they will join two other elephants there. The zoo’s executive director Greg Brockheim said the relocation is due to an Association of Zoos and Aquariums requirement that zoos with elephants have at least three of them.
The zoo announced it plans to turn the elephant exhibit into a white Rhino exhibit.
“We care for all the animals at the Zoo and Cita and Lisa are especially loved,” Bockheim stated Tuesday.
The zoo issued a packet on Tuesday listing 10 reasons why Zoo Miami was chosen for Lisa and Cita, which includes the size of Zoo Miami, Florida’s climate and Miami’s future plans to expand its elephant program.
Officials said they are unsure if they will ever bring elephants back to Norfolk.
Lisa and Cita are in their 40’s, the elephants in Miami, Mable and Peggy are 39.
The curator for the Miami Zoo, Matt James, told WAVY.com, “We’ve kind of branded them the Golden Girls we’re going to have four girls all over the age of 39 which in the elephant world is you know that’s kind of up there. So we’re looking at hosting the Golden Girls and letting them retire in Miami.”