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Nine orphaned elephants arrive in Mexico

07 june 2012, 11:46
Young African elephants. ©AFP
Young African elephants. ©AFP
Nine young African elephants, orphaned when their parents were shot dead by hunters in Namibia, have arrived in Mexico, where they will take up residence at a wildlife reserve, AFP reports.

The elephants "had been sentenced to death, either by hunting or hunger and thirst, because young elephants depend on their parents or adults in the herd," Frank Camacho, director of Africam Safari, said Tuesday.

Camacho said his group -- which maintains a nature reserve in central Mexico with some 300 species -- was contacted by the owner of a reserve in Namibia who said he did not have space to raise the animals.

The rescue operation was an "adventure," Camacho said, with the animals transported aboard a specially equipped cargo plane, with stops in Brazil, Chile and Mexico City.

The elephants are currently in quarantine to help them adapt to their new surroundings, he said.

The wildlife refuge will provide shelter for the animals that meets international standards as well as access to bodies of water where they can wallow, Camacho said.

He added that visitors to the park next summer might see the elephants making their way across the reserve that is home to some 2,500 animals.

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