Zoo Miami to welcome new elephants to park

Two African elephants to arrive on Tuesday


SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – Add two more snowbirds to the list of those from the north making a migration to South Florida.

Zoo Miami will receive two African elephants by delivery from the Virginia Zoo on Tuesday, all to meet an upcoming requirement to maintain exhibited herds of three more.

The two elephants, Lisa, 42, and Cita, 47, will join Zoo Miami's current females, Peggy and Mabel, after a quarantine period.

The new elephants will make their public debut on May 20.

Due to their ages, Lisa and Cita will not be part of the zoo's breeding program.

The journey from Virginia to South Florida is expected to end at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday when the pair arrives after the 12-hour trip.

Due to the Florida climate, Zoo Miami is considered to be the ideal location for the animals, like people, to retire, even if it means moving two Virginia favorites from their home.

“We care for all animals at the Zoo and Cita and Lisa are especially loved." said Virginia Zoo executive director Greg Bockheim.  "Nothing is more important to us than their welfare.  The combination of compassionate care, the science of elephant studies, and the expertise of the elephant community show us that Zoo Miami is the best choice for our girls.”

Lisa was born in the wild before arriving at the Virginia Zoo in 1976.