Bronx Zoo officials said Saturday they will reopen its doors only if all dead elephants are buried, a move that zoo owner and animal lover Steve Bellamy said was a “stupid thing to do.”
Bellamy told the Associated Press on Saturday that the zoo will remain open “as long as the elephants are safe.”
“The elephants have always been safe, and it’s just the timing now that’s ridiculous,” he said.
The zoo’s owners said in a statement that they are “working to determine what will happen to the remaining elephants at the Bronx Zoo.”
“We will continue to cooperate with the authorities and are working with the city to determine how to move forward in a timely fashion,” the statement said.
The statement said the zoo “will not reopen without all elephants being buried.”
The zoo is located on a former horse barn on the outskirts of the Bronx.
It was established in 1890 by William and Maria Barnet, who owned a farm and farm-to-school system.
The Barnet family had three surviving elephants: Lulu, a pachyderm; Lola, a colt; and Jules, a mongoose.
Jules Barnet died in June and Lulu and Lola have not been seen since.