Bamboo Small Bamboo


The campaign to help the WPZ elephants started in the summer of 2005, when WPZ’s 26-year resident, and elephant named Bamboo, who arrived at the zoo as a baby, was shipped off to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma only to be shipped back to WPZ months later. For 9 months, both zoos insisted that Bamboo was “happy and healthy,” but she was unable to integrate with the herd at PDZA and the community became outraged after watching Bamboo’s constant abnormal pacing and head-shaking.

After many months of observing Bamboo at both zoos, local activists became increasingly aware that the troubles plaguing Bamboo were common to the other elephants at Woodland Park Zoo.

Before developing a dedicated group to handle this important issue of helping ALL of our zoo elephants, NARN worked on many fronts to get Bamboo to The Elephant Sanctuary. Below is a list of some of the more noteworthy efforts made on Bamboo’s behalf:

  • Coalition Letter asking for the release of Bamboo to The Elephant Sanctuary
  • Wide-scale letter writing campaign, which led to a meeting with zoo staff
  • Follow-Up Letter to meeting between NARN members and WPZ staff
  • Letter to the AZA requesting they sanction Bamboo’s release to The Elephant Sanctuary
  • Four activists spoke at the Woodland Zoological Society board meeting
  • Two activists attended and spoke at the Phinney Ridge Town Hall meeting
  • Seattle art gallery, Roq La Rue, hosted a fundraiser that raised nearly $4,000 for Bamboo!
  • Met with Councilmember Della, Chair of the Seattle City Council Parks Committee, which oversees the zoo, December 20, 2005
  • Held a peaceful demonstration at the WPZ Thrive! fundraiser and handed out hundreds of leaflets to attendees and the public, March 16, 2006
  • Met with Councilmember Conlin, member of the Seattle City Council Parks Committee, which oversees the zoo, March 28, 2006
  • Held a demonstration at Woodland Park Zoo, May 20, 2006
  • Filed a lawsuit to have Bamboo released to TES, June 5, 2006
  • Continued regular monitoring of Bamboo and the WPZ elephants

[Photo by Jonathan Kruger 2006]

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