Utah's last two elephants are going to be sent to another zoo as Utah's Hogle Zoo plans to pause its continuous care of the species after a run that dates back over a century.

Doug Lund, the zoo's CEO, said Tuesday that the zoo will indefinitely suspend the program, while its two remaining elephants — Christie, 36, and her daughter, Zuri, 13 — will be transferred to another zoo sometime in the near future. Zoo officials explained that the facility doesn't have the right resources to bring in a bull elephant needed for breeding at the moment.

"We have talked to many professionals, consultants, community members and our staff as we carefully assessed what is best for all our animals, including elephants Christie and Zuri. The ultimate choice to move Christie and Zuri is to provide them both the best chance to have a calf in the important social dynamic of a multigenerational herd," Lund said, in a statement.

Elephants have always been a major part of zoos in Utah, and the zoo's elephant care program dates back to 1916, more than a decade before Hogle Zoo's current grounds were established. Salt Lake City's parks department brought in Princess Alice, a 32-year-old Asian elephant, before it constructed an enclosure for the animal in 1917.

The species continued to be a fixture when the zoo moved operations closer to Emigration Canyon in 1931. Hogle Zoo constructed its current Elephant Encounter in 2005, as it sought to offer elephants the "social dynamic benefit of living in a multigenerational herd," zoo officials said Tuesday.

They added that they were the first zoo to successfully train an elephant for voluntary artificial insemination; however, Zuri has been unable to reproduce. They determined they would need to add a new indoor and outdoor space to house a male elephant to breed with Zuri, something that just isn't feasible for the zoo or the species.

"This expansion would take years and significant space, while potentially losing the prime reproductive window for Zuri," Hogle Zoo officials said Tuesday, adding that reproducing is vital because the world's African elephant population has dropped from 1.1 million to about 450,000 over the past 50 years, and hundreds more are killed every month.

Zoo officials are currently searching for the right accredited location to transfer Christie and Zuri under the African Elephant Species Survival Plan set up by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which Utah's Hogle Zoo is a member of. There's no timeline for when the elephants will be moved out.

Meanwhile, they said that elephants could return to the zoo sometime in the future. That will be determined through a new zoo master plan that is currently being crafted. The document will also outline the needs required to care for other delicate species like rhinos, gorillas, polar bears and orangutans.

"Utah's Hogle Zoo is committed to creating connections between people and animals that inspire action to save elephants and other endangered species," Lund added. "Questions regarding what species the zoo will have in the future are being thoroughly discussed. The process is guided by what is best for animal well-being, guest impact and the most effective way to contribute to saving wildlife."