Topeka Zoo adds 2 new elephants; 1 is a past movie star

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The lead elephant in the 1980s film “Smokey and the Bandit 2” is among two new pachyderms at the Topeka Zoo.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the 58-year-old Asian elephant named Cora arrived Wednesday. She was joined by her longtime companion, Shannon, a 34-year-old African elephant.

Topeka Zoo director Brendan Wiley says the pair quickly took to exploring after being unloaded.

Currently, they reside in a special holding area where they’ll be quarantined for a few weeks and have their health evaluated. Within a few weeks, they will join the zoo’s two other elephants – 46-year-old Tembo and 56-year-old Sunda.

The new elephants came from Elephant Encounter, a traveling elephant program based near Tampa, Florida. They’re crucial additions because new guidelines call for herds of at least three elephants.

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