The Ballard Tribune had a nice write-up about the battle to get the WPZ elephants out of their cramped zoo enclosure, and into the 2700-acre Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee:

In close quarters: local activists continue to demand more space for the Woodland Park Zoo elephants

Also check out the response to this article from The Elephant Sanctuary’s CEO

Here is an excerpt from the article:

One of the main complaints against WPZ is that the three elephants endure solitary confinement and a lack of social experience.

With roughly one acre of yard space outside, these elephants have four pens to roam in and their heated indoor barn is divided into four separate holding areas, according to the zoo’s website.

Iain Douglas-Hamilton once wrote in a National Geographic article that elephants travel for three things: sex, sustenance and safety.

“We have all of that here – the elephant’s travel is resource-based and we are always looking for ways to enhance that,” said WPZ’s elephant curator, Bruce Upchurch. “What we have now is enough. We have quality space, it’s just the amount that’s the issue.”

Alyne Fortgang, co-founder of the Friends of the Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, doesn’t agree.

“After years of having people take pictures and staring at them, these elephants have become living shells of a being,” she said. “They look like zombies, exude little emotion, and hardly even act alive compared to wild elephants that are in movement 20 hours a day.”

One Response to “Ballard Tribune article about the WPZ elephants”

  1. FNG on 07 Apr 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    ONE ACRE no matter how swell it seems to the humans is a paltry and miserable amount to an animal designed to travel miles and miles each day. Mr Upchurch is repeating the party line without demonstrating any meaningful understanding of what his charges actually need to thrive. Your elephants are not thriving, sir. They are suffering and deserve so much more. We will continue to battle for their freedom and sanctuary.

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