WICHITA, Kan. — Federal wildlife officials and three U.S. zoos want a judge to drop a lawsuit against the recent importation of African elephants.

The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/1UUBWMT ) reports that in a motion to dismiss the case, the Wichita, Dallas and Omaha zoos said legal concerns about the permit process are irrelevant because the 17 elephants were flown from Swaziland to the U.S. earlier this month.

Friends of Animals sued in February to stop the proposed importation, alleging that the government violated the law by approving the importation. The animal rights group hasn’t dropped the suit, saying it needs to prevent future importations.

The Connecticut-based nonprofit, as well as other conservationists and animal-rights supporters, opposes the importation of the elephants to zoos in Wichita, Dallas and Omaha because they’re highly intelligent, migratory animals.

Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com