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Elephant Gets New Home

photograph from Nature story

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Original Title:
Ruby Gets Comfortable in New Home

Ruby the elephant, who spent nearly half her life at the Los Angeles Zoo, is now at the PAWS animal sanctuary in Calaveras County.

Ruby the elephant has been a favorite at the zoo for 20 years. The elephant arrived at the Los Angeles Zoo in 1987 after spending some time performing in a circus.

For the last nine years, animal activists have been trying to get her to an animal sanctuary and out of her urban environment. Early Tuesday morning Ruby was finally loaded aboard a big rig in Los Angeles and seven hours later arrived at the Calaveras County sanctuary run by PAWS, the Performing Animal Welfare Society.

Almost from the moment she arrived, Ruby seemed at home. According to PAWS co-founder Pat Derby, "She's feeling really great. She's in the barn with three others, and she's already found a special friend."

In fact, Derby says Ruby's already rubbing trunks and communicating affectionately with LuLu, an elephant brought to PAWS from the San Francisco Zoo two years ago. "Just touching trunks and doing all of the caressing that elephants do in the wild when they really care about each other," said Derby.

At the sanctuary, Ruby will soon be able to roam 100 acres of rolling hills and socialize fully with the three other elephants there.

Experts say elephants who've been in captivity often find it difficult to get along. So far, Ruby seems to be living up to the social skills her former handlers say she has in abundance.

(This story was provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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