DALLAS (AP) — An animal-rights group has filed an injunction in federal court to prevent a group of elephants from being imported and kept at three zoos, including the one in Dallas.

Friends of Animals requested the injunction Friday, after earlier filing a lawsuit to block the 18 elephants from being transported from Swaziland.

The group argues that when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowed the transfer of the animals, it did not take into account how the move would hurt their social, mental and physical well-being.

The Dallas Morning News reports (http://bit.ly/1oSB0vN ) an injunction hearing is scheduled for March 17.

The Dallas Zoo earlier issued a statement saying the zoos — including ones in Omaha, Nebraska, and Wichita, Kansas — want to provide a haven for elephants now contending with scarce food in drought-stricken Swaziland.