For Immediate Release

Monday, July 14th (Seattle, WA) – Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants and area advocates will attend today’s Seattle City Council meeting en masse to urge the City Council to exercise its authority to persuade Woodland Park Zoo to retire Watoto, one of the Zoo’s elephants, to a sanctuary. The Zoo announced it will send Watoto to another zoo by the end of the year.

Woodland Park Zoo has refused to provide records on Watoto’s imminent transfer and is currently fighting a lawsuit calling for the Zoo to be transparent.

The Council meeting marks 43 years this month since Watoto was taken from her mother as a baby.  She was shipped from Kenya to Woodland Park Zoo into an impoverished life of confinement.  Watoto suffers from a plethora of physical and psychological ailments. She could heal in a sanctuary by roaming vast spaces and bonding with elephants of her choosing—all in a warm climate.

Lisa Kane, JD, a noted international elephant expert, will address the Council.

What: Seattle City Council meeting

When: Monday, July 14th, Advocates will meet at 1:30 pm in front of City Hall at the 4th and Cherry entrance, then head upstairs to the City Hall chambers for the 2pm meeting.

Where: Seattle City Hall at 600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104.

A recent survey showed that a super majority of Seattleites want the Zoo’s elephants retired to a sanctuary. To date, 28 zoos have closed or will close their elephant exhibits, including Tacoma’s Pt. Defiance Zoo.

“The Zoo has received over $100 million dollars in taxpayer money from the City and King County, making Watoto’s welfare all of our responsibility” says Alyne Fortgang, Co-founder of Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants.

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