From Africa to San Diego
From their arrival at the airport, the elephants in their crates had one last journey to the Wild Animal Park, on a convoy of flatbed trucks along the freeway with an entourage of escorting vehicles and police. Once at the Park, cranes were used to set the crates up against the fences used for protected contact, one by one so the elephants could enter the habitat. Park mammal curator Randy Rieches (above, center of the photo in the blue shirt) and the entire elephant keeper staff were there to greet the newcomers and manage the challenging logistics of getting them moved in.
The herd settled in well at the Park. They had been thin and malnourished, and eating was their top priority for quite a while. Eventually, though, they began to fill out and started exploring their new home.