Riverbanks Zoo to send off elephants and bring in rhinos

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina zoo plans to send off two African elephants in order to bring in Southern white rhinos.

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden of Columbia announced Wednesday that 48-year-old Robin and 37-year-old Belle will soon join a larger herd. The zoo says the public can attend special activities before the elephants leave. Their specific destination for the elephants hasn't been determined.

Zoo officials say 13 elephants have lived at Riverbanks since 1973.

The zoo says there is a chance elephants will return in the future. Director of Animal Care and Welfare John Davis says the zoo hopes to add more space and manage a breeding group one day.

Southern white rhinos haven't lived at the zoo since 1989. The new exhibit is scheduled to open next year.