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Large gray attraction leaving BREC'S Baton Rouge Zoo

Sunday, April 7, 2013 - 8:00pm

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo will soon say goodbye to a big grey attraction.  Zoo officials want to move Bozie, the 37-year-old Asian Elephant, to a new zoo.  Bozie's buddy Judy died in March. Zookeepers worry without friends Bozie will get upset.

Sam Winslow, BREC Baton Rouge Zoo curator, explained, "Elephants are very social animals, so it's important that they be with other elephants."

Visitors we spoke to say the zoo just will not be the same.

"I think it's sad. The elephants are one of the main attraction,” Misty Gosserand, veteran zoo visitor, described. “It's just like the giraffes or the tigers. I mean it's a major thing that we come to see. We love watching them. They are cute and they are funny. "

The zoo plans to move Bozie to a new home, so she can meet new friends. 

Bozie fans and her trainers are devastated.

"Well I guess it's a good thing for the elephant, but not really so great for the kids," Gosserand exclaimed.

Nicole Rougeau, also visits the zoo, she agrees with Gosserand, “It was kind of disappointing, but at the same time we know he's going to meet his friends, so it makes it a little better." 

“They've [trainers] been working with Bozie for years, There is going to be some pain with the separation, but they all have Bozie's best interest at their heart,” Winslow explained. 

Zoo officials say don't worry the elephants will come back. They want to build a new home for the animals with more space so they can house more elephants.

They say that's still years away. Winslow  explained the zoo is trying to find fundraising for the new habitat. 

Winslow described the new exhibit: “[Will have] much more complex barn, so we can better manage a herd situation, because you might have to separate the animals. Treat them, have ways to be able to treat them medically without going in with them.”

Zoo visitors say they’ll miss the elephants, but they’ll wait to see what the zoo brings in next.

"I think it will be worth it waiting a few years to come and see the elephants. As long as, they are happy it makes everybody else here happy also," Gosserand stated.

Zoo officials don't know where Bozie will go just yet. They're trying to find a zoo that best fits Boozie's personality. Winslow says the zoo will host a going away party before Bozie leaves.



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