Two more elephants on the way to the LA Zoo

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Neighbors are on the way for the lone elephant at the Los Angeles Zoo. The San Diego Zoo announced Friday that it’ll send up two companions for 25-year-old Billy.

It’s been a solitary stretch for the Asian elephant in the L.A. Zoo. Two previous pals in the elephant enclosure, Gita and Tara, died in the last six years.

While Billy’s lived alone, humans in the courts of law and public opinion have debated the ethics of keeping elephants in zoos. Amid legal challenges the L.A. Zoo has proceeded with plans to open its $42 million elephant habitat with the backing of the main accreditation body for zoos and aquariums.

The San Diego Zoo has agreed to loan two female pachyderms in their forties — Jewel and Tina — that’ll share the Elephants of Asia exhibit. That six-acre habitat with pools and a barn is scheduled to open in December.