Sedgwick County Zoo

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

The new elephant exhibit at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita is officially open.

The state-of-the-art facility is getting a lot of attention, and not just for the impressive grounds. As KMUW’s Deborah Shaar tells us, visitors are excited to see the six new elephants from Africa.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

It sounds like the plot of the movie “Operation Dumbo Drop”: Seventeen elephants flying on a massive airplane from Swaziland in southern Africa to zoos across the U.S. But it is real, and it's here.

The elephants landed at Wichita’s Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport this afternoon. A crowd of onlookers gathered at the Sedgwick County Zoo as its six new residents arrived in giant crates on two flatbed trucks.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Updated Thursday, March 10, at 5:05 p.m.: 

A representative from the Sedgwick County Zoo says their new elephants are "en route" from Swaziland to the U.S.

The 17 elephants are headed to three zoos in the U.S., including the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Neb., and the Dallas Zoo.

Deborah Shaar

The Sedgwick County Zoo is moving forward with a plan to import six elephants from Africa.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved the zoo’s permit application on Friday.

The Sedgwick County Zoo is partnering with zoos in Dallas and Omaha in an effort to save 18 elephants from death in Swaziland, Africa.

The country is in a severe drought and faces an overpopulation of elephants. The animals are also taking a toll on landscape needed for endangered rhinos.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

The Sedgwick County Zoo is partnering with zoos in Dallas and Omaha in an effort to save 18 elephants from death in Africa.

If the plan works, six of the elephants will be relocated to the Sedgwick County Zoo by the end of the year.

The three zoos want to provide new homes for 18 African elephants from two government parks in Swaziland. The country is in a severe drought and faces an overpopulation of elephants. The animals are also taking a toll on landscape needed for endangered rhinos.

Sedgwickcounty.org

Sedgwick County has released its proposed budget for 2016, and it includes drastic cuts to many county services.

 

Numerous county agencies and county-supported organizations were aware that funding cuts were coming, but didn’t know how severe they’d be.

Deborah Shaar file photo

The Sedgwick County Zoo is marking a major milestone in the process of building its new elephant exhibit.

The zoo completed its $10.6 million fundraising campaign this week. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports...

Deborah Shaar

Westar Energy is testing solar energy technology across the state through partnerships with schools, nonprofits and government agencies.

The company is fully funding 15 innovative solar projects out of about 100 proposals submitted.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has a progress report on the three projects selected in Wichita.

Visitors to the Amphibian and Reptile Building at the Sedgwick County Zoo are searching for turtles, snakes and lizards in the glass aquariums built into the walls.

Some are small spaces, some large. Some have water and others just greenery.

Travel KS / Flickr

The Sedgwick County Commissioners are set to vote Wednesday on a resolution that would delay a decision on the future of a funding agreement with the Sedgwick County Zoo.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports.

The commissioners and zoo officials met several times in the last month about possible changes to the present five-year funding agreement.

Under the current terms, funding will run until 2018. The county itself was required to notify the zoo that it was considering terminating the current agreement to replace it with a year-to-year plan.

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