The Woodland Park Zoo does not have the best reputation when it comes to caring for their elephants. The zoo has made it on to In Defense of Animals’ list of Top 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants a record seven times rousing the animal advocacy group, Friends of the Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, to urge the zoo to close their elephant exhibit and have the animals retired.
After the zoo euthanized one of their African elephants, Watoto, in August of 2014, the urgency of this appeal became even more pressing. Watoto had gone completely lame from arthritis, this is a common occurrence for elephants who are forced to stand on hard concrete for extended periods of time, and as a result was euthanized. The zoo’s remaining elephants, Chai and Bamboo, both suffer from similar foot problems and exhibit the signs of zoochosis.
Thankfully, the Woodland Park Zoo recently agreed to relocate Chai and Bamboo … but don’t get too excited just yet. The zoo has agreed to close the elephant exhibit, but Chai and Bamboo will be sent to another zoo. Go ahead and facepalm now.
Despite the years of evidence illustrating the mental and physical damage that life in a zoo has caused these elephants, the Woodland Park Zoo has yet again turned a blind-eye to the well-being of Chai and Bamboo.
Deborah Jensen, President and CEO of Woodland Park Zoo said that Bamboo and Chai would be “relocated together to an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) facility that shares our commitment to animal health and welfare and conservation through education, and provides viewing access to the animals.”
It seems almost too easy to tear that statement apart given the history of ailments exhibited by Woodland Park Zoo’s elephants…
Not only is this decision unacceptable, it does nothing to benefit Bamboo and Chai in any way. In their old age they should be relocated to a sanctuary where they can have space and learn what it means to be an elephant.
The Mayor and City Council of Seattle have the authority to approve or veto the zoo’s decision to send Bamboo and Chai to another zoo. There is still time to influence their decision, but urgent action is needed!
The Friends of the Woodland Park Zoo Elephants are urging officials to reconsider this decision and move the elephants to PAWS Sanctuary in California instead. PAWS is an incredible sanctuary that promotes conservation and education. The Toronto Zoo sent their elephants to PAWS after their elephant exhibit shut down and they have all done remarkably well at the sanctuary.
Chai and Bamboo need your voice. Please help convince the Mayor and City Council to send these elephants to a facility certified by the Global Federation of Sanctuary, like PAWS!
Take Action on Social Media NOW!
Participate in our social campaign and tell Woodland Park Zoo to send Bamboo and Chai to a sanctuary!
Post the photo on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or Facebook. Make sure your update includes 1.#IMAGREENMONSTER and 2. @onegreenplanet
See example below:
“#IMAGREENMONSTER because I believe Bamboo and Chai should be sent to sanctuary! Join me at @onegreenplanet ”
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Lead image source: Rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.com