I hope Tucson follows Toronto and sends Connie and Shaba to the PAWS sanctuary in CA. Tim's fine article certainly raises questions about health and safety issues in San Diego's zoo.
Dr. Kathleen Jenks
I thank the *Tucson Weekly* for publishing this lucid, impressive article. Sending these two elephant friends to PAWS makes so much sense -- really a no-brainer.
I watched CBS's *60 Minutes* this past Sunday night, 1/22/12, and was deeply moved by the segment on elephant speech, some of it far below the range of human hearing but able to be caught on tape and amplified. A whole team of experts are now trying to decipher elephant language by correlating audio tapes with videos of what was happening at the time the sounds were recorded. The findings are remarkable and awe-inspiring. They reveal how emotional, caring, and intelligent elephants are. I know many people do not believe that animals are capable of feeling emotions as humans do, but an enormous amount of scientific evidence, gathered by carefully observing many species over a long period of time, shows otherwise.
To translate Connie and Saba into human terms, however, imagine two elderly women who have been close friends and neighbors for 30 years. A time has now come when they are no longer able to live on their own. Thus, the two will be sent to nursing homes -- not to the same one, but to two different ones, far enough away that the two old friends will never see each other again. We would need hearts of stone not to be able to sympathize with the plight of these women. But, for Connie and Shaba, it will be much the same. May we not only sympathize with them but, through the good sense of Tucson's Council and new Mayor, may we soon learn that Connie and Shaba will be spared this lonely fate.
Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
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