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Sedgwick County Zoo Could Lose Elephants

The Sedgwick County Zoo will lose its accreditation to have elephants if its officials can't find a way to upgrade the animals' enclosure.

Yesterday, the Sedgwick County Zoological Society asked county commissioners to pay $5.3 million dollars of the cost of a new elephant barn, which is estimated to cost $10.5 million-dollars. Zoo officials say the commissioners have three weeks to consider the funding before they move to relocate the animals.

The zoo has housed two African elephants, named Stephanie and Cinda, since 1972.

The change is necessary because of guidelines the Association of Zoos and Aquariums passed in 2011.

The association requires zoos with two females to have space for at least one more elephant by September 2016. The new requirement aims to protect the social animals from living alone.

The commissioners are scheduled to vote later this month.