LITTLE ROCK – Officials at the Little Rock Zoo this morning released the details of three elephants that escaped from the zoo overnight last night.

At approximately 1:30 a.m. the three elephants (Zina, Sophie, and Babe) broke through the north side fence of their exhibit. The elephants then traveled east through the park before tearing through the east administration entrance. The escape comes shortly after the zoo was named one of the worst zoos for elephants by In Defense of Animals.

“This comes at a really bad time for us. We just acquired Sophie and Babe this October after three elephants in less than two years have died,” Zoo spokesperson Rosie Mee tells us. “That in addition to the giraffe homicide, lion death, and rhino death all this year. It is like the elephants just had enough and decided to make a run for it.”

Local wildlife authorities have so far not been able to locate the elephants. Several witnesses have reported seeing the elephants at several points along I-40 heading east, possibly to Memphis. The Memphis Zoo released a statement saying they are aware that the animals may be attempting to seek refuge at a higher quality zoo and will offer amnesty to the refugee elephants.

Little Rock Zoo officials are investigating the cause of the elephant escape and the high number of animal deaths preceding the escape.

“Everything seems to start around the opening of the penguin exhibit,” Mee tells us. “The penguins get out all the time at night and occasionally harass the other animals. We caught them last week throwing rocks at the gibbons, trying to knock them down while they swung from their ropes. We also have surveillance showing them near the giraffe exhibit shortly before Jigsaw’s murder.”

Following the elephant escape several large piles of excrement were found on the UAMS parking lot at the former Ray Winder field location. “It looks like they must have been holding it for a week to leave that much there,” Mee tells us.