Yesterday, The Seattle Times published an editorial opinion piece by David Hancocks, former director of Woodland Park Zoo. His message: Elephants at the zoo are suffering. These complex social creatures cannot have even their basic needs met in a zoo environment.
Thanks to The Seattle Times and letters from the people of Seattle, the plight of Watoto, Chai, and Bamboo is getting attention from decision-makers.
Unlike their wild counterparts, elephants in captivity do not thrive. Their lifespans are shorter, their natural social bonds are severed, and they are deprived of the enriched environments they need to keep physically and psychologically well.
Elephants are active animals and travel miles and miles every day. In Woodland Park zoo, they have a measly acre to pace in—when they’re let outside.
The elephants at Woodland Park Zoo deserve to be released to a sanctuary. The wheels are in motion. Public opinion is changing and people are siding with the elephants. It’s time, in the words of Mr. Hancocks, to “do what’s best for the elephants.”
Please write to the zoo at:
Address letters to:
- Dr. Deborah B. Jensen, President and CEO
- Bruce Bohmke, Chief Operations Officer
- Jamie Creola, VIce President of Education
- Dr. Darin Collins, Director of Animal Health
- Dr. Nancy Hawkes, General Curator
- Valerie Krueger, Director of Finance
- David Schaefer, Director of Communications & Public Affairs
- Gigi Allianic, Media and Public Relations
Also please write the mayor, your city council member, and especially Sally Bagshaw the Parks Committee Chair.
Mike McGinn, Mayor
Sally Bagshaw, Seattle City Council, Parks Committee Chair
Richard Conlin, Seattle City Council, Council President
Sally J. Clark, Seattle City Council
Nick Licata, Seattle City Council
Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Council
Tim Burgess, Seattle City Council
Jean Godden, Seattle City Council
Tom Rasmussen, Seattle City Council
Mike O’Brien, Seattle City Council
Deborah Jensen, Woodland Park Zoo President
Or send a letter to each of the above council members at the following address:
[Name of Councilmember]
Seattle City Hall
P.O. Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025
Or fax them at 206-684-8587.
You can learn more about the elephants at the zoo and the efforts to release them to a sanctuary, at Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants.