By Joy Hollowell
Two elephants that spent nearly two years in Hope, are now gone.
A post on the Hope Elephants Facebook page Monday morning says Rosie and Opal were returned to the Endangered Ark Foundation in Hugo, Oklahoma.
It does not say when the two elephants left Hope.
Last week, their caretaker, Dr. Jim Laurita was accidentally crushed and killed by one of the animals.
According to the Board of Directors, Laurita requested if anything ever happened to him, Rosie and Opal be returned to the care facility they were leased from.
The Facebook post says “due to the large number of supporters and friends of Hope Elephants, it would have been logistically impossible to have arranged public visits while ensuring that Rosie, Opal and the Laurita family were allowed calm and peace during such a traumatic time. We appreciate your understanding that the decision was made in the best interests of all of them. Together, we will move forward into the light and warmth of each new day, continuing to fulfill the mission of Hope Elephants by evolving and redefining it so that we can assure Jim Laurita’s legacy.”
A statement on the Endangered Ark Foundation’s website says- “With Rosie and Opal’s impending return, EAF staff is focusing on the well-being of both elephants, the plans for continuing their various medical and therapeutic regimens and the process of reintegration with the established herd residing at the facility.” Video.