As more countries make a move into protecting wild animals and shield them away from the circus life, the government of Denmark follows suit and buys the country’s last four circus elephants in an effort to retire them.

Elephants, sea lions, and zebras are the only animals that can be used in circuses, which are still highly regulated in Denmark.

But with the introduction of a new anti-cruelty law to parliament will soon impose a blanket ban for all animals, the ministry of food, agriculture and fisheries said in a statement.

The government will pay 11 million krone ($1.6 million) to buy the last circus elephants – Ramboline, Lara, Djunga, and Jenny. They will be sent to a zoo to spend their last days, but there is still no final zoo announced.

“The elephants will be sent to the establishment that can offer them the highest level of well-being,” the ministry said.

More than 40 countries in the world, half of which in Europe, have restricted or banned the use of wild animals in zoos.

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