Northern California has snowy mountains, scenic beaches and rolling hills, but have you ever just felt like ... something was missing? Something, perhaps, like a herd of elephants? Don't worry, you're not alone in that feeling, and thankfully someone has finally decided to quit screwing around and do something about it.
The Wall Street Journal reports that an elephant preserve is in the works for Tehama County. Funded through a foundation by Silicon Valley private-equity person Roger McNamee and overseen by the Oakland Zoo staff, the preserve would provide 4,900-acres for a small herd of elephants to grow to more than a dozen over the next two decades.
The project highlights an obesity epidemic that has three out of four zoo elephants overweight, a pretty obvious side effect of being cooped up in a zoo as opposed to roaming freely across an elephant's natural habitat. The preserve will serve as an elephant-fitness experiment for researchers, who will also study elephant behavior in a "near-wild" herd. Once up and running, school groups will be able to visit the preserve and see rare African elephants roaming a tract of grassy hills and oak trees that's actually quite similar to some of their African stomping grounds.
It's about a three-hour drive north of the city, but once up and running we'll be first in line to see these majestic, slightly overweight animals roaming wild and free.