A Warm Welcome for Our First Elephants by John Lehnhardt
FELLSMERE, Fla. (AP) - Forget peanuts. In the heart of Florida's citrus grove region, it's the oranges elephants are after.
At the newly opened National Elephant Center in Fellsmere, Fla., the pachyderms have discovered how to pluck the fruit from the trees with their trunks and pop it into their mouths.
Fresh oranges are just one of the perks the animals enjoy during their stay at the 200-acre refuge. The site was established for zoo and animal attractions that need temporary sitters for their elephants. In the future, they want to offer that to private owners who can no longer care for their elephants.
The site's first residents, four African elephants, arrived in May. They are on loan from Disney's Animal Kingdom, located about an hour north.
The elephants eat about 300 oranges a day during the season.