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OKC Zoo ranked worst in the country for elephants

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO)- Bad news for the Oklahoma City Zoo. It's been named the worst zoo in the country for elephants.

The In Defense of Animals Organization -- or IDA -- released its ranking of zoos today. It cited the zoo's 'miserable record for elephant disease, aggression, and premature death as reasons for naming it the worst.

Two elephants -- Chai and Malee -- died at the zoo last year. Zoo officials say Malee died from a contagious virus. Chai died from defects with his teeth and jaw.

The zoo -- which has plans to expand the elephant exhibit-- responded to the report today. They said, quote "IDA's claims are unsubstantiated accusations about the health of elephant populations in first-class zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums… These claims ignore science and factual evidence about the exceptional veterinary care and optimal welfare that elephants in zoos receive."

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