Los Angeles' oldest elephant to retire in elephant sanctuary

The city's oldest elephant is poised to live out her remaining days at an animal sanctuary in Central California after years of lobbying by animal activists for her retirement to a preserve.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has expressed concern about the conditions for elephants at the Los Angeles Zoo, was expected Monday to announce Ruby's retirement.

Activists have long pressed officials to retire Ruby to a sanctuary, saying the giant animals simply do not have enough space at the L.A. Zoo.

Zookeepers have said Ruby is in good health, and zoo director John Lewis has insisted space alone is not the issue in caring for captive elephants.

Currently, the 46-year-old African elephant is not on exhibit.

Ruby will be moved to the Performing Animal Welfare Society Elephant Sanctuary in San Andreas, southeast of Sacramento, according to a statement from the mayor's office.

The sanctuary offers 75 acres (30.35 hectares) of rolling hills to wander, plus a 3-acre (1.21 hectares) lake and mud holes, reports AP.

Ruby's departure will leave the zoo with only one elephant, Billy, a 22-year-old Asian bull, in residence and on exhibit.

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