Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants and Zoocheck held a joint press conference on April 23rd, in the hopes of convincing Seattle’s Mayor Murray and City Council Members to conduct an independent investigation into the failed transport of Chai and Bamboo. We are also asking that Bamboo and Chai not be moved out of San Diego until the investigation is completed and a safe plan, made public, is put in place to protect Bamboo and Chai.
Experts, Julie Woodyer with Zoocheck and Margaret Whittaker, planned and successfully executed the transport of three elephants, 3000 miles, from Toronto Zoo in Canada to the PAWS sanctuary in California. They are happy to assist in the investigation and to help identify other experts qualified to assist going forward.
On April 15th Woodland Park Zoo loaded Chai and Bamboo into steel crates and trucked them for what was supposed to be a 40 hour journey to Oklahoma City Zoo. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s forecast on April 15th reported “Heavy snow on its way to the Central Rockies…the weather system will…bring considerable moisture…heavy snow across portions of Wyoming, Colorado and Utah” Those were the states of WPZ’s route. Stopped in Salt Lake City, and with a report that Bamboo had colic, the transport “detoured” to San Diego. With an ailing elephant, the Zoo decided to go another 740 miles to San Diego (Coming back to Seattle was only 90 miles more).
The elephants were whisked out of Seattle the same day an injunction was denied and an ordinance was made public that could send the elephants to a sanctuary. Friends believes this is no coincidence and that Woodland Park Zoo put their own self-interest before the health and safety of Bamboo and Chai.