National Zoo getting 3 new elephants from Canada - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

National Zoo getting 3 new elephants from Canada

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(Photo: Bill Quayle, Calgary Zoo) (Photo: Bill Quayle, Calgary Zoo)

The Smithsonian's National Zoo is adding three new female Asian elephants to its herd.

The elephants are on loan from the Calgary Zoo in Canada, which is in the process of relocating its elephants. Their move to Washington is being underwritten by philanthropist David Rubenstein, who contributed $2 million.

It's the second major gift to the zoo from Rubenstein, who also gave $4.5 million to fund its giant panda program.

The newcomers from Calgary will bring the zoo's elephant herd to seven. They are scheduled to arrive in the spring of 2014 and will spend 30 days in quarantine before joining the zoo's other elephants.

Two of the new elephants were born in the wild and are nearly 40 years old. The third was born in captivity in 1990.

By BEN NUCKOLS Associated Press

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