Elephants Get Brief Reprieve to Have Their Day in Court
Elephant Justice Project (EJP) was created for Bamboo and Chai and all the elephants that suffer and die young in impoverished zoo environments.
EJP filed a law suit in King County Superior Court which challenges the Woodland Park Zoological Society’s claim to have ownership over the elephants and its authority to unilaterally move them to the Oklahoma City Zoo. Washington State’s Legislature passed a law in 2000 that allowed the City of Seattle to contract with the Zoo Society to operate and manage the zoo, but the City had no legal authority to give away all of the animals and equipment. Our state Constitution prohibits such gifts. The 2002 Operating Agreement giving Chai and Bamboo to the Zoo Society is illegal and unconstitutional, so the Zoo Society has no authority to decide their fate.
This proposed move to Oklahoma City Zoo goes against the wishes of Mayor Murray, the City Council majority, and Seattle taxpayers, who support retiring Bamboo and Chai to a sanctuary. Unfortunately, the Mayor and City Council appear to be pandering to the powerful few on the Zoo Society’s Board and have declined to use their authority to order the retirement of Bamboo and Chai to a sanctuary.
With the Mayor and City Council deferring to the Zoo Society, EJP had no other choice than to sue. The lawsuit is a reprieve for the elephants, who will now have their day in court!
There is still time for our elected officials to show progressive leadership and honor the wishes and values of their constituents. Please help us persuade them to help Bamboo and Chai get to sanctuary. Please write, call and/or tweet Seattle’s City Council and Mayor.
Mayor Murray: 206-684-4000
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw: 206-684-8801
email@example.com, Sally.Clark@seattle.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov, Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, email@example.com, Jean.Godden@seattle.gov, Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov, Mike.Obrien@seattle.gov, Nick.Licata@seattle.gov, Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, (Ignore Mayor Murray’s auto reply.)