Founded in 1956, after animals were transfered from the old Detroit Zoo at Belle Island
The present Detroit Zoo is located in suburban Royal Oak and Huntington Woods, Michigan, USA. The Detroit Zoological Institute is an agency of the City of Detroit despite not being physically located there. The Institute, now run by the Detroit Zoological Society, also runs the Belle Isle Nature Zoo located on Belle Isle inside the city.
The zoo made additional news in 2005 when it became the first U.S. zoo to give up its elephants on ethical grounds, claiming the Michigan winters were too harsh for the animals and that confining them to the elephant house during cold months was psychologically stressful. The elephants, named Wanda and Winky, were relocated to the Performing Animal Welfare Sanctuary (PAWS) in California. The zoo had housed elephants since 1923. The former elephant exhibit was renovated, and is now home to two white rhinos, Jasiri and Tamba, both age three.