February 24, 2015
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Relocates Elephant Pair to Oregon
This week, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom safely transported its two remaining resident elephants to a 600-acre park in Winston, Oregon. Guests visiting Discovery Kingdom may still experience elephants however, as elephants on loan from another facility will be on site all season long.
“The decision to move our remaining resident elephants to Oregon was not an easy one,” said Don McCoy, park president. “Liz and Valerie are beloved members of our family, and their departure marks the end of a truly remarkable era. We remain committed to elephant conservation and educating the public about these amazing species whose populations are increasingly dwindling in the wild.”
Liz, a 51-year-old Asian elephant has been at the park since 1994 and Valerie, a 33-year-old African elephant since 1995. The pair, along with the other elephants who have called the park home throughout its long history, have served as exemplary ambassadors of their species.
Since 1968, when the park, then known as Marine World, was founded, Asian and African elephants have been an iconic part of the park experience. Through interactive engagement and trainer demonstrations, kids and adults alike had the unique opportunity to learn about elephant intelligence and physicality, and relate personally to the park’s many pachyderms.
Liz and Valerie will join their former companion Tava, a 37-year-old female African elephant that was transferred to the same facility, Wildlife Safari two years ago to live with their other resident elephants at the drive through safari park.
The decision to phase out the park’s resident elephant program was driven by the staff’s desire to provide the elephants with a more social environment than a two-individual herd.
“Most importantly, we know they will be well-cared for and receive exemplary care,” said McCoy. “This is a huge change for us as a park and for our guests, and we are putting the future welfare of our two elephants first and foremost. Liz and Valerie will be truly missed.”