Lisa Kane, author of An Optimal Future for Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, provides a rebuttal to the zoo’s responses to An Optimal Future. Here is an excerpt:

The Zoo, again, refuses to address the detailed arguments raised in the “Optimal Future” report on their merits, claiming the arguments are not “new” nor “break … new ground.”  Sadly, the serious questions about the Zoo’s elephant program have not  changed over time because the elephants’ social, physical and environmental hardships  have not changed. Specific examples of the hardship of their daily lives are detailed in the Report. Just a few of these hardships include the smallness, the sameness, the tedium of an environment that fails to challenge their great bodies and great brains and chronic, painful physical disabilities directly related to captivity on hard substrates in often cold and wet conditions. We challenged the Zoo to address these issues on the merits. The Zoo has had the Report for 19 months and still won’t address them.

If you haven’t already read the original report, check it out here: An Optimal Future for Woodland Park Zoo Elephants.

Report: An Optimal FutureThis report, authored by Lisa Kane, JD, in collaboration with Seattle community group Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, addresses the current status and future of the Woodland Park Zoo’s three elephants. The report explores community concerns for the well-being of Chai, Bamboo and Watoto, and identifies foreseeable costs, risks and benefits associated with allowing them to retire.

The purpose of this report is to encourage a well-informed debate on the merits of a competing vision for the Zoo’s elephants’ future. All parties contributing to the report believe that the Seattle community wants to provide the best possible future for the Zoo’s resident elephants. We are committed to promoting an outcome that benefits the Seattle City Council, Office of Mayor, and Woodland Park Zoo, and that strengthens their reputations as responsive, enlightened, and progressive institutions.

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