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Brazil just opened Latin America's first elephant sanctuary

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A group bought the land to provide homes for elephants as laws change and zoos close.

WATCH| A short video by Global Sanctuary for Elephants, the group that purchased the land in Brazil. 

The group wanted the land for elephants to have a home as laws prohibit the animals from appearing in circuses and as zoos close.

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Asian elephants Maia, left, and Guida, back right, roam the free area for the first time at Latin America's first elephant sanctuary in Chapada dos Guimaraes, Brazil, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

According to the BBC, the first two residents are Guida and Maia, who are both over 40 years old. The first phase of the project will house six elephants. 

The sanctuary will not be open to visitors. According to the group, the first phase is just the beginning. 

"We will continue to build fences until all 2,800 acre are available for the elephants to explore," the group promises on its website

The BBC contributed to this report.

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