In the article on Crosscut, Elephants’ captivity gets panel’s OK, Eric Scigliano lays out the majority and minority reports from the Woodland Park Zoo’s Task Force.

Here’s an excerpt:

What task force co-chair Jay Manning calls a “strong majority” concluded that Woodland Park should not only keep the elephants it has (rather than sending them to a more spacious sanctuary as its critics urge); it should breed more — that’s what the zoo’s long-range plan already contemplates — toward the end of building a sustainable “multi-generational herd” that would suit the elephants more socially and inspire visitors more ecologically.

But the unreconciled minority didn’t agree. It urges that the zoo phase out its elephant program, renouncing breeding and letting its three current charges (two middle-aged and one getting there) live out their natural lives or retire elsewhere. The minority finds “insufficient evidence” for the view promoted by the zoo and endorsed by the task force majority that seeing and learning about elephants in zoos can move the public to do more to help protect them in the wild. It concludes that the actual amount the zoo spends on its much-touted conservation efforts in elephant range countries, $267,805 since 1998,  “has not been substantial” and urges spending more.

Read the full story on

Read the Task Force’s Final Report

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