To those who think that a zoo, any zoo, is a home to an elephant, know that it is not. The elephants had no choice in the matter. They would choose space and being able to walk for miles any day for being on display with no privacy and screaming kids 12/7, not to mention their feed rotting on hard surfaces. It is only humans who do not understand elephants needs who are sentimental that any zoo could be termed a home. It's a prison. As Dame Daphne Sheldrick says of zoo elephants, "You are not seeing an elephant, you are seeing a tragedy."
Can there be a petition for voters to vote on the issue of moving C&S to PAWS while getting an injunction to stop the move, until the vote in November? This will, at the least, force the city council to review the many dirty dealings of the AZA further and perhaps they will stop the move themselves while advocates raise the funds to give the girls a WELL DESERVED retirement.
After SDZoo "euthanizing" ChaCha & Cookie to make room for Connie, the people of Arizona should be more outraged about the transfer for this is the kind of "care" that can be expected by vet Oosterhuis there. People who have known Cookie for decades say there was no change in her. It's another of the zoos lies to people and people buy it because they cannot imagine animal workers can be that callous. Absolutely disgusting.
If you want to read more about the horrific story of the four San Diego elephants, of their transport and relocation to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago and Caldwell Zoo in Tyler TX the link is below. Again, the poor elephants, as slaves once were, have no say in their lives, where they go or who they are with. The death of Wankie enroute is especially egregious. There is no scare tactic here, this is what happens when their adult lives, not cute babies anymore, are in the hands of those with hubris.
http://www.idablog.org/elephants/never-for… (Even if the public can't stomach to read it, it is more food for fodder for the reporters of this paper who are willing to do their research.)
OMG!!! Finally someone in the media "gets it." Thank You!
Though the AZA is fighting for the life of the elephants it trades because of the rising popularity and righteousness of progressive sanctuaries, it has not stopped this animal broker from forcing zoos to have breeding programs in order to keep accreditation - more captive elephants is the name of the game here, not survival of the species. If the AZA was to be interested in that, they would be donating to anti-poaching and anti-smuggling organizations which go wanting while criminal gangs exterminate almost every species for China's literal appetite. But they are not contributing to the actual survival of the species, they are contributing to themselves. The AZA bully tactic is to threaten to withdraw accreditation as they did to Detroit, with Toronto Zoo being the latest to make their zoo director paranoid - this after the AZA claiming what stars zoos both had been.
However, if this paper really wants a Pulitzer, delve into the murk of the relationship between the AZA and the USDA/APHIS, Animal Care office under Chester Gipson. The word alleged really does not need to be used because the AZA has publicly stated that Animal Care should adopt the AZA's protocols, and so Animal Care has. Gipson must approve every transfer of an elephant (circus or zoo), including Connie & Shaba. But it blindly goes along with what the AZA wants. Gipson's lack of enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act truly warrants a congressional investigation which is about the only thing to get his office to straighten up and fly right. Representative Jim Moran has had to introduce bill HR 3359 in order to stop the egregious length of time circus animals must travel all year long. None of it for the welfare of the animals to which the act states it must be complied.
In the case of Tina & Jewel, very elderly & overused Asian circus elephants, though sanctuaries offered to take them, Gipson approved a move to San Diego Zoo where the established elephants there did not like them, nor let them integrate. They spent most of their time in their "garage with patio." They are now on loan to the LA Zoo where a woman just hopped the fence to "pet" them, thanks to good design of a brand new enclosure. What is interesting here is KTLA reported several times that the woman got into the "sanctuary." Is this the new AZA spin, that zoos are sanctuaries? Screaming kids with their obnoxious noise and the lack of privacy 12/7 disqualify any zoo as a sanctuary. Sanctuaries are places of peace and quiet of mind, plus the most important ingredient, space which no zoo, redesigned or not, can provide.
In the case of Connie & Shaba the cavalier attitude of zoo officials and the AZA is astounding considering not just the aggressiveness to Tina & Jewel in the Asian compound, but the fact that an African was just killed by another African in San Diego. Normally when there is an attack in the wild the elephant can get away, but in a zoo it has nowhere to go (18 elephants crammed in 6 acres). Shaba will be the one on the outs and just as much a shock to her to have unhappy strangers in the midst. The lesson should have been learned when the African elephants were captured in Swaziland and sent to San Diego. In order to make room the SD zoo sent their two Africans, Tatima & Peaches to Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago, much decried by elephant behaviorists and vets. Within 2 years both died when they could have been in a sanctuary, especially PAWS in CA with similar weather.
There appears to be no bounds of hubris by the 1%ers when 99% of the public understands that this bonded pair should be able to stay together.
Tucson Weekly |
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