SAN ANTONIO (KXAN) — The San Antonio Zoo says its Asian elephant Nicole is heading to Tennessee to spend her remaining years at The Elephant Sanctuary.
According to the zoo’s March 4 Facebook post, Nicole was one of three geriatric Asian elephants called The Golden Girls.
She, Karen and Lucky were together from 2016 until Karen and Lucky died in 2022.
“We are going to miss Nicole dearly,” said Tim Morrow, President & CEO of San Antonio Zoo in the Facebook post. “We are grateful for the years she spent with us as one of the Golden Girls. She and Karen bonded beyond expectations with Lucky and inspired visitors to care for and want to protect elephants from extinction.”
“Elephants WILL return to San Antonio Zoo in the future as part of the zoo’s expansion with a new world-class elephant habitat,” said Morrow. “We are currently in the largest growth period our 108-year-old zoo has ever seen, and elephants are a big part of our future plan. An inspiring new entrance will be opened later this year, with the largest gorilla habitat in the U.S. coming shortly after.”
According to the Facebook post, the zoo plans to join the current elephant and giraffe habitats, which would let the zoo add more giraffes and other species to an expanded savanna.
Until that construction begins, five Bactrian (or two-humped) camels will move into that space after Nicole leaves.