Chai in ERD (elephant restraining device) Chai in ERD (elephant restraining device)

Chai in ERD (elephant restraining device) - photo from, Dennis Dow

Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ) artificially inseminated Chai, a female elephant, for the 60th time.  Inseminated 50 times prior to her daughter, Hansa’s, birth and 10 times since have yielded only miscarriages.  Hansa, died of the deadly endotheliotropic elephant herpes virus (EEHV).  Watoto, one of three elephants on display at WPZ, tested positive in 2008 for the same strain of EEHV that killed Hansa.  There is no cure and WPZ has no infection control in place—in fact Chai could transmit the virus to her own fetus.

The virus attacks the internal organs causing massive hemorrhaging and a painful, gruesome death.  “To even take a chance of causing another defenseless calf such a horrific death is unconscionable and unethical” says Nancy Pennington, co-founder of Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants (FOWPZE).

“Breeding elephants to live on public display is a moral question as well”, adds Pennington.  Due to Seattle’s wet and cold climate the elephants are locked in a tiny barn stall for 16-17 hours daily for 7 months of the year.  Outside the elephants have less than one acre.  This is an inhumane amount of space causing physical and psychological harm to these far-ranging elephants.

FOWPZE has made WPZ management, the Woodland Park Zoological Society, and the Seattle City Council aware of the consequences of this deadly breeding program.

The statistics and current science clearly show it is irresponsible to breed in the herpes-infected Woodland Park Zoo.

5 Responses to “Woodland Park Zoo continues unethical elephant breeding”

  1. Hrm. on 31 Mar 2011 at 9:15 am #

    I think it’s a little misleading to “quote” your own founders. If that’s the way this blog feels, then you don’t need to cite yourself. Am I wrong here? I think it’s a little manipulative. I’m just a guy trying to parse through the emotional nonsense and get to what’s actually going on.

  2. admin on 04 Apr 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    This post is the text of a press release sent out by our organization. It is customary to include quotes from a representative of the organization.

  3. FNG on 04 Apr 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    Sad to see that WPZ is willing to gamble to health of the elephants over possible profits. Heartbreaking that another possible baby elephant death may occur due to greed. What is manipulative is the zoo assuming that going forward with another ill-conceived offspring is a sound decision.

  4. Linda De Falco on 20 Apr 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Disgusting…that’s all I can say…bleeding, death, infections…is this what zoos do? is this all they can do for these poor captive mammals? LET THEM GO TO TES??? I am a supporter of TES (monthly) and I think it’a appalling that these animals have to suffer for profit of the zoo. NO WILD ANIMALS SHOULD BE IN ZOOS…all animals should be in large sanctuaries…when I was a girl I did not know better (ignorance) you all are not ignorant..enough has been documented and written…let these elephants go…Karma is deafening…

  5. iris lambka on 09 Jun 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    I am brought to my knees to watch this poor elephant pacing it is better off going to heaven where it will be at peace You people are sum of the earth for an all mighty dollar i am outraged least

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