Vet Working To Move Rosie The Oklahoma Elephant To Maine

Thursday, August 11th 2011, 10:23 am
By: News On 6

Russell Hulstine,

HUGO, Oklahoma -- A veterinarian in the state of Maine wants to adopt a retired circus elephant who now lives in Hugo, Oklahoma and move the elephant to Maine.

The vet and one-time elephant trainer Dr. Jim Laurita has created a nonprofit group to raise money so he can move Rosie from Hugo, Oklahoma to Hope, Maine.

Dr. Laurita says Rosie is well-cared for but unable to receive the special treatment she need for leg and muscle injuries.

Hope is located east of Augusta and south of Bangor near the coast of Maine.

"Rosie is an elephant that I worked with in the circus when I was 18," says Jim Laurita. "I've known her a long time."

Now 42, Rosie is retired from the circus and living at the Endangered Ark Foundation in far southern Oklahoma.

Maine's climate is not a concern, Dr. Laurita notes.

"Elephants are very adaptable and do well in any climate as long as they can get out of the heat. Overheating is the greatest concern with big animals," said Dr. Jim Laurita.

Larita's nonprofit organization, Hope Elephants, still needs local, state, and federal permits but hopes to raise funds, build a barn, and move Rosie in by the end of the summer.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.