An animal rights group has dropped its lawsuit against the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium over its import of six elephants.

Friends of Animals took the action Tuesday.

It initially sought to halt the import of 17 elephants from Swaziland to zoos in Omaha, Dallas and Wichita.

The suit alleged that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service improperly issued a permit to import the animals in January. The zoos later joined the suit as defendants.

With no restraining order in place, the zoos went ahead with the import, delivering elephants to Omaha on March 11. Friends of Animals had asked for a last-minute emergency restraining order, but a judge rejected the request.

Still, the suit continued. Last week, the zoos filed a motion asking the judge to dismiss the suit. The group then dropped the suit Tuesday.

"It is hard to see how a court process can help these 17 elephants at this point," Friends of Animals’ attorney Michael Harris said by email on Wednesday. "We are investing our time and resources instead in working with our experts on a plan to better inform the public and zoo patrons about the lives these animals will now have to live, and on formulating a strategy to prevent any future proposals to import wild elephants to zoos."

Omaha's elephants will go on display Wednesday at 11 a.m.

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