LONDON — London Zoo will move its elephants to a park in the countryside after a keeper was crushed to death, zoo officials said Wednesday.
The transfer will leave the famed zoo without elephants for the first time in 170 years. Critics have said facilities at the zoo in London’s Regent’s Park are too cramped to keep the animals.
Keeper Jim Robson was trampled to death on Oct. 20 after he tripped and fell into the elephant paddock. It was the third fatal accident involving elephants in Britain in less than two years.
The zoo’s three elephants will be moved to the Whipsnade Wild Animal Park in Bedfordshire.
Michael Dixon, director general of the Zoological Society of London, said the move had been in the works even before Robson’s death.
"It has been a longstanding plan to assemble all our elephants at Whipsnade, a move that would significantly increase the potential of our conservation breeding program," he said.
"We will be sorry to see the elephants go," Dixon said. "There have been elephants in London Zoo since 1831."
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