A millionaire schemed to save baby elephants from slaughter. Here’s how one of them ended up in N.J.

Submitted by Naturenomics Team on Fri, 21/06/2019 - 14:26
Author Credit
Meet Joyce, an elephant at Six Flags Great Adventure with a story that will amaze you. (Andre Malok | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

Adrienne Romero | The Jersey Journal

A herd of elephants grazes in the abundant grasslands of western Zimbabwe sometime in the early 1980s.

Almost silently, the massive animals pluck leaves and branches from trees, occasionally pausing near small ponds to drink and splash in the mud.

It takes no more than 20 seconds to slaughter them all.

The elephants have been targeted in a culling operation — scheduled killings overseen and funded by the Zimbabwean government.

Except one day in 1984, a chance at survival emerges. An American fitness mogul implores the Zimbabwean government to save dozens of calves. One of those calves will come to be named Joyce, whose unforgettable journey was just beginning.

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