A new friend has arrived in Dallas for Jenny the Elephant, who has been alone since the death of her companion KeKe last May.
Gypsy the Elephant arrived in Dallas on Tuesday. Zoo spokeswoman Susan Eckert said Wednesday that Gypsy will be in quarantine for six to 12 weeks before being introduced to Jenny.
"Gypsy is very smart and very sweet," said Karen Gibson-Spenle, the zoo's elephant supervisor. "She is a quick learner and has a good disposition."
The elephant was acquired from a private owner in Texas by the Dallas Zoological Society with private funds, zoo officials said. Until recently, Gypsy has been traveling for presentations around the country with owner and caretaker Chris Hamblen.
“Mr. Hamblen will stay with Gypsy a period of time while she transitions to her new surroundings,” said Chuck Siegel, deputy director for animal management at the Dallas Zoo and The Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park.
Eckert said eventually two more elephants -- Stumpy and Mama -- will also come to the Dallas Zoo.
Next spring, the zoo will open the 10-acre "Giants of the Savanna," where all four elephants will live together. The exhibit will also include giraffes, lions and wild dogs.
Gypsy is a 27-year-old female African elephant.
Eckert said that on Wednesday, the Dallas City Council approved spending about $13 million toward the total cost of the habitat.