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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Elephant Lovers Protest the Woodland Park Zoo

Posted by on Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 10:01 AM

If you're looking for something today on this cold and rainy Saturday, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants are planning to rally in front of Seattle's zoo today from noon to 2:00 p.m. to draw attention to the abysmal living conditions of the zoo's elephants.

They hope to pressure the zoo into releasing the elephants to an elephant sanctuary, where they'll have companionship and the room to roam.

"Releasing Bamboo, Chai and Watoto is a win all the way around: WPZ will look like the heroes of compassion and save about $600,000.00 every year, the public and especially children will learn a valuable lesson in compassion and selflessness, and Bamboo, Chai and Watoto can heal from the traumas inflicted upon them by years of zoo captivity," the group writes in a press release.

Friends of the Woodland Park Zoo elephants are meeting at the street entrance to WPZ's South/Main entrance (N 50th and Fremont Ave N) at noon.


Comments (11) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Sounds like a lose-lose-win. WPZ will lose any income from the elephants and be left with a large, empty space they will need millions to develop into something else. Children will wonder where the elephants went and why they can't see them and the adults will, if honest, have to try to explain why the elephants were abused for decades for other children's amusement. And MAYBE the elephants will be better off.
Posted by dbgill56 on December 15, 2012 at 10:29 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 2
It took millions and millions of years of evolution to create anything as beautiful as an elephant. And we keep them trapped in our web to slowly digest. I don't care much for humans who need cruelty as entertainment.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on December 15, 2012 at 11:12 AM · Report this
Wow. Those articles are heartbreaking, not only in terms of the atrocious treatment of elephants, but also as a shining example of what journalism should be.

Save the elephants, and save the newspaper!

Anyone got the money to buy out the Blethens?
Posted by Hanoumatoi on December 15, 2012 at 11:33 AM · Report this
theophrastus 4
got it... zoos are an anachronism. ought to shut them all down. kids can experience animals on their iPads. message accepted.

however, you want to examine carefully this wondrous elephant sanctuary where you-all think it's best to send them. it's not all it's cracked-up to be. there is a business there... and it's not clear it's monetized (sorry about using that term) for an elephant's lifetime of time.
Posted by theophrastus on December 15, 2012 at 11:43 AM · Report this
Knat 5
Nothing to get people to the negotiating table like insinuating that they're animal torturers, Friends of WPZ Elephants. Whether or not they've acted cruelly towards the elephants is irrelevant; you don't say they're "inflicting trauma" on the animals you're trying to free before they meet with you if you expect anything to come from the talks.
Posted by Knat on December 15, 2012 at 12:03 PM · Report this
I once saw a very old film shot from a plane of elephants running through the wild of Africa. They ran fast and in close packs like horses...maybe a few hundred of them and closely packed. A herd. Their calls would carry far, very far.

To think that they are adapted for anything like a zoo where they lumber around a few yards at a time in slow motion, or even a modern "sanctuary" or wrong.

As large mammals, they need many, many square miles to roam, like whales. Maybe that's what we, as humans, need too. We are the biggest widespread mammal, right now.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on December 15, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 7
If only we did not need zoological parks. But there are humans that think their children's need for food trumps the Elephants need for range land. Until humans put their children's needs after those of the elephants, Zoos will serve as a place of sanctuary. If it's a huge preserve some where so be it.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 15, 2012 at 1:43 PM · Report this
Michael of the Green 8
Here's another little heartwarming video re: woodland park zoo elephants:…
Posted by Michael of the Green on December 15, 2012 at 2:10 PM · Report this
@4 & 5: Nice concern trolling.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on December 15, 2012 at 4:18 PM · Report this
theophrastus 10
@9 not familiar with that designation (i blames m'self). however the owner of the location that folks want to send the elephants to (leaving behind all the other worthy large mammals?) is a former circus owner who really doesn't seem to have had a dramatic change of heart. i've met him. he's not a bad guy. but he's not the warm and fuzzy animal lover folks seem to think he is.
Posted by theophrastus on December 15, 2012 at 6:18 PM · Report this
Tracy 12
@11 I also can be conflicted about zoos, but in addition to managing captive breeding programs, there is something about education there. And modern zoos do tend to fund much wildlife research. Less tangible is my belief that maybe through a positive zoo experience, people will learn to value these animals and there might be a conservation-ripple effect. So that's "sacrificing" the optimum well-being quality-of-life of a few animals (who are already IN the zoos, and wild release of zoo critters is rarely an option) in the hopes that, through their interactions with them in zoos, people will care/try to save/preserve the wild species as a whole? *shrug* It's not perfect. And I'm not sure it's a system I'd design. But, as far as a reason of what good zoos can do...I think there's something in that. Having watched kids interact with the Grizzlies at WPZ (who have lovely enclosure, as cages go), maybe those kids will be more likely to try to save habitat/etc? Again, I don't know...

As for the "sanctuaries," I definitely have my concerns there, too. There's not a governing/accrediting body that oversees them (whereas AZA zoos at least have some inspectors/requirements). And I think @6 has some points, too. I don't have any answers, just doubts. And @5 has a point about engaging in actual dialogue vs making a scene.
Posted by Tracy on December 16, 2012 at 8:54 PM · Report this

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