Community Presentation: "Zoos: Elephants at Woodland Park"

We hosted Nancy Farnam from Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, who told us the history of the elephants’ imprisonment and the need for their release to the elephant sanctuary in Tennessee. 

12 people came out Chaco Canyon for this Animal Rights Meetup, including Elizabeth, Bryan, David, Sri, Hol and her family, Brandon, and Rachel. As Elizabeth said afterward, “The right thing to do is obvious. That doesn’t mean it will be done.”

We also addressed the following questions:

♣Zoo Curator Nancy Hawkes says zoo animals are “ambassadors for what is going on in the wild and without them, out of sight out of mind. People will not care about them as much as they will if they have that kind of one-on-one experience that we can provide here.” Do you agree?

♥Is it impossible to tell whether elephants are happy in zoos? In the wild, elephants also face difficult circumstances, such as destruction of their habitat and diminishing numbers. Are zoos simply giving animals the best life they can?

♦What does viewing animals in zoos teach people about our relationship to wild animals?

♣Are zoos primarily for people’s entertainment, or do they promote conservation by preserving habitat and protecting endangered animals?

♥What is the difference between zoos and animal sanctuaries?

*Recommended reading/listening: KUOW’s “Woodland Park Zoo and Its Critics Debate What is Best for the Elephants”

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