The reserve would have a research facility and house three to five elephants at first, and then grow into a herd of about 15, over a 20-year period.
A document filed with the state of California reads:
The project proponent is considering proposing a wild animal preserve consisting mainly of African Elephants on a 4,900 acre site currently being used for cattle grazing, known as Diamond Ranch, managed by the
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At the site, elephants would have a lot more room to run around in than they do at typical zoos in the United States. They'd also enjoy a high-fiber diet comparable to what they'd get in the wild.
Elephants at zoos seem to be prone to pack on pounds in their butt and back areas, according to Cheryl Meehan, consulting project manager on a related study.
At the Oakland Zoo, elephants go through regular weigh-ins, similar to human dieting programs, to make sure the pachyderms are staying as fit and trim as possible. Male Osh, for example, recently tipped the scales at 12,495 pounds. That weight actually seems OK for an elephant with his build. (He's 10 ½-feet tall and 19 years old.) More elderly Lisa, however, who is in her 30s, weighs 9,285 pounds and has little muscle definition.