Chai in barn stall

Chai, 1979 – 2016

Chai is at peace now—free from suffering at the hands of the zoo industry. At 37, Chai would have been at the prime of her life in the wild, and still bearing calves, but Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ) and now the Oklahoma City Zoo (OKC Zoo) bear the responsibility of another elephant dying prematurely. Chai’s life was filled with trauma, starting with being ripped from her mother at only one-year-old. She was beaten at Dickerson Park Zoo, suffered the heartbreak of losing her daughter, Hansa (6), and endured 112 invasive artificial inseminations. WPZ went against science and the will of the vast majority of Seattle residents by moving Chai (and Bamboo) to the OKC Zoo, another inadequate zoo devoid of any quality of life, rather than retiring her to sanctuary. Zoos must stop incarcerating and breeding elephants into a life sentence of misery.

tombstone for zoo elephants

Elephants who have died at the hands of Woodland Park Zoo


9 Responses to “Chai, 37 years old, dies at Oklahoma City Zoo”

  1. Jane Silberstein on 30 Jan 2016 at 5:49 pm #

    I am stricken with grief upon learning this today. Is there an online forum for discussion? I was stunned that the WPZoo would ignore what appeared to be community consensus on sending the elephants to a sanctuary. What went so wrong?

  2. Leigh on 30 Jan 2016 at 7:23 pm #

    Be free now, Chai, you’re no longer suffering at the zoo industry’s hands.

  3. suzanne weisfield on 30 Jan 2016 at 9:15 pm #

    My hear is broken over her death. I am so sad and feel sick to my stomach she never got to enjoy her remaining years by being sent to a sanctuary.

  4. Daisy on 31 Jan 2016 at 8:20 am #

    Hello. My name is Daisy, I am 11 years old, and I am so sad about Chai! One thing I disagree with is that it WAS NOT THE ZOO’S FAULT!!!!! Stop fricken blaming a beautiful place that inspires and makes CHILDREN happy. Not to mention CHILDREN & ADULTS! This site makes me very angry, considering I live in Seattle, had my 10th birthday at the WPZ, AND saw the elephants be washed, rubbed with a special ointment on their dry spots, and have dirt cleaned out from the cracks in their feet (which by the way is COMPLETELY NORMAL ON ALL ELEPHANTS!!!!!). Everyone was deeply sad when Watoto died, and I cried on the way home from school, but there YOU go, saying how awful the zoo is, while all I do is read your content, and SOB myself to sleep. I’m not lying when I said SOB. All we need is the Seattle Times saying that zoos are awful, then you guys again? Geez. I’m sure when you guys were children you LOVED the zoo. What was your favorite animal? Lemme guess. Elephants. And didn’t you LOVE seeing the elephants at the zoo? Of course! Then why banish them to a place where YOU and COUNTLESS OTHER CHILDREN can never see their favorite elephants again? Why put them in a new and confusing place they have never seen before? Why BLAME both zoos on the tragic death of two beautiful elephants? So many whys, not enough answers. We (my family) are VERY ANGRY at this HATE towards a nice place I call my second home. Thanks a lot for my cries WASTED.

  5. Steve P on 31 Jan 2016 at 10:12 am #

    Shame on Deborah Jensen and the WPZ administrators who were more concerned about profit over the welfare of the elephants. Shame on OK City Zoo for mishandling the move. And shame on the Mayor and Seattle City Council for authorizing this inhumane transfer of these beautiful and intuitive creatures.

  6. Daisy on 31 Jan 2016 at 9:50 pm #

    Sorry for being so harsh, but this really upsets me!

  7. Activists Call for Investigation into the Death of Chai, a 37-Year-Old Elephant at the Oklahoma City Zoo | Care2 Causes on 04 Feb 2016 at 1:02 pm #

    […] Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants summed it up, stating: […]

  8. Daisy on 04 Feb 2016 at 5:13 pm #

    Dear “Friends” of the Woodland Park Zoo,
    Why do you call yourself the ‘Friends Of The Woodland Park Zoo’? You are the polar OPPOSITE of friends! Here you are, making a freakin website all about how AWFUL and BAD the WPZ is! Would you like it if a loved one or family member died, and everyone blamed you? Even if they died of natural causes. Even if they died of old age. You would feel very ANGRY that those people would say that! Now think about THIS. After this happened, everyone wanted to put all your other loved ones in a different home. This is EXACTLY what you are saying to the WPZ. Let that settle in.

  9. Fran Sprague on 09 Apr 2016 at 11:10 am #

    Once again due to the negligence of so called educated people a defenseless animal has died. What happened to cause this? How could his care taker and vet be so blind to the obvious. This is nothing but sheer abuse and neglect. Shame on each and every one of you who are responsible. I hope with every fiber of my being that the remaining elephants at this zoo will be removed to the safety of a sanctuary. Maybe then they will have the comfort and companionship they so need and deserve/

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