Today is a very sad day. Watoto was euthanized.
She died without ever having had a good day.
You may have heard that Watoto, the African elephant that so many people were fighting for, lost her life today. Watoto was discovered lying down unable to right herself when the keepers arrived this morning. The Zoo’s staff decided to euthanize her after being unable to raise her.
Please join in a vigil/peaceful demonstration at the street entrance to Woodland Park Zoo’s south entrance tomorrow, Saturday at noon.
What: Vigil for beautiful Watoto
When: Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 at noon
Where: Street entrance to the Zoo’s south entrance at N. 50th and Fremont Ave. N.
Watoto was only 45 years. In the wild, she would have been in the prime of her life; still bearing calves. Confinement in a zoo takes a devastating physical and psychological toll on these far-ranging and intelligent animals. The zoo industry’s own statistics show that elephants die young.
Woodland Park Zoo denied Watoto of one her greatest needs–companionship of her own kind. After being ripped from her mother in Africa as a baby, Watoto never set eyes on another African elephant. The zoo also denied Watoto the opportunity to spend her remaining years in a sanctuary.
Watoto suffered from a host of chronic captivity related diseases as a result of living her entire life in the cramped quarters of Woodland Park.
Woodland Park Zoo is an exceptionally poor environment. The elephants are locked outdoors in less than 1 acre. Indoors, the elephants are locked in barren cages, standing on hard substrate and only able to walk a few steps in any direction. This lockup, due to our climate, lasts 16-17 hours a day, every day, for over half of the year. Scientific American describes this as: “tortuous conditions [which] inflict serious physical and psychological damage on such smart and sensitive animals.”
We hope that Watoto’s suffering and death will not be in vain. We are very grateful for Seattle’s Mayor Murray’s statement. We need him to go farther: Bamboo and Chai need to retire to a sanctuary. Click here to read the Mayor’s statement.
Please write to ask the Mayor and the City Council to order the zoo to release Bamboo and Chai to a sanctuary. They have the authority.
Please call the Mayor anytime on Wednesday, the 27th. Ask the Mayor to withhold funds from Woodland Park Zoo until the elephants are released to a sanctuary. 206-684-4000
Rest in peace, Watoto.