A silent meditation will be held by concerned citizens calling for the retirement of Woodland Park Zoo’s three elephants to a sanctuary and in memory of baby elephant Hansa’s death.

Lily Tomlin, actor, comedian and elephant advocate is unable to attend but issued this statement: “It is unconscionable that Woodland Park Zoo would expand the elephant program by adding elephants without adding space. The 1-acre yard is too small for the elephants they have now and Seattle’s climate forces the elephants into tiny barn cages for a prolonged amount of time. Science has shown that elephants suffer physical and psychological harm due to inadequate space. The Zoo should retire the elephants to a sanctuary where they can live out their days in a humane way.”

A super-majority of Seattleites agree with Ms. Tomlin: a recent survey showed 62% of Seattleites support the retirement of the elephants to a sanctuary in a warmer climate with a vast amount of space.

The silent sitting also marks the 7th anniversary of baby elephant Hansa’s death at the zoo. An internal memo showed that the Zoo knew Hansa’s mother, Chai, could bring the deadly virus back from the Zoo in which she was bred. All three elephants have been exposed to the deadly herpes virus that killed Hansa, yet Woodland Park Zoo hopes to continue breeding.

When: Saturday, June 7th, 2014 at 11:15 AM -12:30 PM

Where: Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, WA. Meet us at the West Entrance of the Zoo off Phinney Ave.: 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle WA 98103. Follow the West Entrance path inside and meet us across from the ticket window.

What: We will hold two short meditations. The first will be at the plaza inside the West Entrance across from the ticket counter. The second will be on the steps of the elephant exhibit inside the zoo.

“Seattleites love our elephants so much that they selflessly want Bamboo, Chai and Watoto retired to a sanctuary. Our city’s conscience dictates that we do so immediately” says Alyne Fortgang, Co-founder of Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants.

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