Judge won't block move of Woodland Park Zoo's elephants to Oklahoma City

SEATTLE (AP) — A judge in Seattle has declined to block the transfer of Woodland Park Zoo's two elephants, putting them closer to a new home at an Oklahoma zoo.

Animal welfare activists vowed to continue their fight to have the aging female elephants moved to a sanctuary.

King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson said she didn't think activists could win a court case contending that the city of Seattle — and not the Woodland Park Zoo Society — owns the animals.

Alyne Fortgang of the Elephant Justice Project says another lawsuit is pending in federal court.

Woodland Park Zoo has agreed not to move the elephants to the Oklahoma City Zoo before April 8 -- next Wednesday.

The legal action is part of the broader debate about whether housing elephants in zoos is humane, with activists arguing the large animals need more space to roam than zoos can provide.