Sri at St. Louis Zoo

Sri in her cage at the St. Louis Zoo. This is where Woodland Park Zoo sent her.

Woodland Park Zoo announced it would be closing the elephant exhibit. We commend them for taking this action as the exhibit is inadequate and our climate is unsuitable for elephants. That’s the good news. Unfortunately they want to send Bamboo and Chai, the two surviving elephants, to another zoo. This is not commendable nor is it in the elephants’ best interest.

Bamboo and Chai have lived in a tiny zoo display since they were taken from their mothers as babies. They deserve space and peace in a sanctuary—in a warm climate.

Once Bamboo and Chai leave Seattle, we will have no ability to control what happens to them. They could be moved again, and again. Moving elephants around like furniture is not uncommon in the zoo industry.

Deborah Jensen, President and CEO of Woodland Park Zoo said that Bamboo and Chai would be “relocated together to an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) facility that shares our commitment to animal health and welfare and conservation through education, and provides viewing access to the animals.”

Deborah Jensen is obviously not aware that PAWS Arc 2000 sanctuary in California engages in conservation and education. PAWS’ commitment to the health and welfare of the elephants in their charge is obviously greater than Woodland Park Zoo’s since PAWS monitors their elephants 24/7. We are not aware of a single zoo that monitors elephants 24/7. Had Watoto, who the Zoo euthanized in August, been monitored she might be alive today.

PAWS has a fundamental difference in philosophy about allowing animals to be viewed. Once an animal lives at PAWS, their life is given back to them and they no longer live on display.

The Mayor and City Council have the authority to approve or disapprove the disposition of the animals in the zoo. We are asking that they use their authority to require that Bamboo and Chai go to a facility accredited by the Global Federation of Sanctuaries like PAWS—anything less goes against science and their constituents’ values.

4 Responses to “Response to Woodland Park Zoo’s scheme to send Bamboo and Chai to another zoo”

  1. shawn sivly on 21 Nov 2014 at 11:47 pm #

    Please send these beautiful creatures to a sanctuary. No more zoos for them. They deserve better. Thank you!

  2. Karen Goranson on 24 Nov 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    Please let these two elephants have a chance to live with other elephants in open spaces with trees and grass and rocks. They were both taken from their homes at a young age. They’ve had most of their lives taken away, now it’s time to give back to them.

  3. Judy Balch on 02 Dec 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    These beautiful animals have given more than anyone should ask. Please let them retire and live in peace with their own kind. No more zoos!!!!!

  4. Sarah on 03 Dec 2014 at 8:43 am #

    Please leave these beautiful animals where they are. They have spent their entire lives in Seattle, they are used to the people and their environment. These are elderly animals moving them will likely make them depressed and sick. Animals do not like change, they have already lost their brother don’t make them lose everything else they know as well.

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