While the law suit against the city of Seattle and Woodland Park Zoo was dismissed on a technicality, it does not absolve the Zoo of the physical and psychological suffering it causes the elephants.

News Advisory
For Immediate Release


May 27, 2011

Seattle, WA – Judge Michael Heavy dismissed a lawsuit filed by local animal activists against the City of Seattle and Woodland Zoo, citing a technicality. After hearing 10-minute arguments from both sides in King County Superior Court on Friday, the judge granted the City and Zoo’s motion to dismiss the case.

The court ruled that the plaintiffs lack standing to bring the suit. The suit alleges that the manner in which WPZ manages its three elephants violates Washington anti-cruelty statutes.  The court’s ruling did not reach the merits of the plaintiffs’ contentions.  Nevertheless, as Judge Heavy ruled from the bench, he twice stated his personal belief that the zoo’s elephant exhibit is objectionable, stating at one point, “…to confine animals in small habitats, take away their freedom in grossly confined spaces, outweighs children seeing (wild and rare) animals.”

The plaintiffs have a number of options available in response to the court’s order, including appealing the court’s dismissal or refilling their complaint. Their decision will likely come within the next few weeks.

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