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Animal Charities to Open European Circus Elephant Sanctuary

Animal rights groups say they will establish Europe's first sanctuary for former circus elephants.

PARIS (AP) — Animal rights groups say they will establish Europe's first sanctuary for former circus elephants.

World Animal Protection and Elephant Haven said Monday that the sanctuary will be created in France and certain sites will be operational by this fall. The groups say the project came about after lobbying by the Danish Parliament, which recently announced its commitment to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.

They add that 14 other European countries have recently implemented similar bans, many of which come into force this year.

European circuses use over 100 elephants.

Tony Verhulst of Elephant Haven said "there is no place for elephants to retire in Europe and we are so pleased that we are giving them a safe haven."

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