- Woodland Park Zoo wants to move elephants to Oklahoma City Zoo
- Elephant Justice Project sued to block the move
- Group wants elephants in sanctuary
- Judge will make decision Friday afternoon
A King County judge is expected to decide Friday whether the Woodland Park Zoo elephants can be moved to Oklahoma.
The Woodland Park Zoo decided in February that the two elephants, Chai and Bamboo, would be sent to the Oklahoma City Zoo.
The decision came after there was a public outcry concerning the pachyderms' well-being following the death of a third elephant at the zoo.
The group Elephant Justice Project sued to block the move to the zoo. They've been fighting to send Chai and Bamboo to a sanctuary in California instead, and recently explained their concerns to the Seattle City Council where supporters of the zoo's plan also spoke out.
"The climate is inhospitable, which would result in them being locked up in a tiny barren barn cell even longer than they are here in Seattle,” said Alyne Fortgang with the Elephant Justice Project.
“At the (Oklahoma City Zoo) there's a whole family, a multi-generational family -- our elephants will be able to join a whole new herd,” said Margie Wetherald with the Woodland Park Zoo Board.
The activists claim the zoo doesn't own the elephants and doesn't have the legal authority to transfer them.
If the zoo wins, it would sell them for $0, according to the Seattle Times. The move will cost up to $100,000, with Woodland Park Zoo paying half.
The case will be heard Friday afternoon. Video.