The Moscow Zoo has donated two female African elephants to a zoo in the Spanish city of Valencia because it could not afford to house the animals, Interfax reported Thursday.
The donation was proposed by Deputy Mayor Lyudmila Shvetsova and approved by Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, the report said.
The two elephants were purchased by the city of Moscow from South Africa’s Kruger National Park in 1985, but the zoo could not provide them with enough room to walk.
After years of living in confined quarters, the animals were loaned in 2006 to the Valencia Zoo, a move that has now become permanent because the Moscow Zoo has had to postpone indefinitely plans to build a better elephant facility due to a lack of funding.
This is not the first occasion elephants have faced a hard time in Moscow. In 2009, residents chipped in for food for a starving female elephant owned by a traveling circus that ran out of cash over the winter.