The government of Zimbabwe allowed THIRTY-SIX baby elephants to be stolen from their families last month, so they could be exported and sold to zoos. Helicopters swarmed their herds and as elephants scattered, the infants who couldn’t keep up were captured. Plans are in the works for HUNDREDS more to be stolen this way, leaving entire herds distraught and mothers frantic and grief-stricken. It’s really hard to imagine which is worse, the prolonged suffering of poaching, or this double trauma inflicted on mothers and children, with the children condemned to reduced (in every way) lives in zoos. If they survive: baby elephants are notoriously delicate physically end emotionally and often refuse all sustenance when traumatized. One of the 36 is already dead.
I refuse to call it good news, since everything about this is terrible, but there IS still time to halt the export of these babies and to stop further kidnappings. PLEASE write a quick letter ….and email….and fax…and while you are at it, make a 20-second call, too…to the Zimbabwean Embassy, asking them to stop this immediately. A sample letter is below (thank you, PETA), but please edit it to make it personal.
Are you ready to sing for the elephants?
Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants will be caroling throughout City Hall to Christmas songs reworded to promote Bamboo and Chai’s retirement to a sanctuary.
As you may have heard, Woodland Park Zoo is closing their elephant exhibit and relocating the elephants. However, they are planning to send the girls to another zoo. They need to go to a sanctuary. The Mayor has the power to make that happen!
When: Monday, December 15th, 2014 from 10:45am to noon.
Where: Main lobby of Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Ave, Seattle, 98104.
The main lobby is at the 5th Avenue entrance between Cherry and James streets (or just go upstairs from the 4th Ave entrance).
Please wear ORANGE. Wear the t-shirt from previous actions or your own orange top.
According to a September 9, 2014 USDA inspection report, the Woodland Park Zoo violated the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by failing to ensure that elephants have “access to shelter during inclement weather to afford them protection and to prevent their discomfort.”
Woodland Park Zoo has demonstrated once again that they don’t put the elephants’ well-being first. It’s taken the USDA to discover a violation of the AWA to force the zoo to protect the elephants from our unsuitable climate. What’s even more astonishing is that the zoo needs to take another year—2 years total to put up a rain shelter. (A year ago the Task Force said to put up a rain shelter.)
If this enrages you, PLEASE write to the Zoo and others! Will you help Chai and Bamboo by emailing?
The Mayor and Sally Bagshaw are on this list and will monitor how many emails the Zoo gets. PLEASE, write – even one line.
PLEASE be thoughtful and respectful in order to make an impact. All of our reputations are on the line.
Just copy and paste the email list below. It includes the Zoo’s administration, curators, sales and donor staff, elephant and other keepers, and as many Zoo Board and Task Force members’ addresses we could find, and City and some County council members. (Some email addresses may bounce back and some people are away at a conference. They can think about your comments in their hotel room!)
L-ExecutiveLeadershipTeam@zoo.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Bruce.Bohmke@zoo.org, Nancy.Hawkes@zoo.org, Bruce.Upchurch@zoo.org, Darin.Collins@zoo.org, Kelly.Helmick@zoo.org, Lisa.Dabek@zoo.org, Steve.Cremer@zoo.org, Russ.email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Jim.Bennett@zoo.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, Gigi.Allianic@zoo.org, Laura.Lockard@zoo.org, Anne.Knapp@zoo.org, Kim.Haas@zoo.org, Rebecca.Whitham@zoo.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, DeggingerG@LanePowell.com, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Glennkawasaki@hotmail.com, Pattisavoy@hotmail.com, Ddevita@hotmail.com, Elizabeth.A.Sicktich@wellsfargo.com, email@example.com, LSCaputo@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Kirsten.Pisto@zoo.org, email@example.com, Fred.Koontz@zoo.org, Jamie.Creola@zoo.org, Kathryn.firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Sally.Clark@seattle.gov, Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov, Nick.Licata@seattle.gov, Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov, Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov, Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov, email@example.com
Here are some talking points or just send an email you already wrote. Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants’ web site is a huge resource:
FYI: This is what the Mayor said on Oct. 22, 2014: “When I was a legislator I supported the removal of elephants from the zoo. My position has not changed…I hope we can reach an agreement with the zoo…I realize there are levers we could pull, but I think it’s too soon to have those discussions.” (21:40 and 51:17 time code) http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=3011410
Thanks for helping get Chai and Bamboo to a sanctuary.
Save the Date: Dec. 2nd Zoo Board Meeting at 4pm. Get to Zoo by 3:40. Details when we get closer.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published an article yesterday that attributed Watoto’s death to chronic, age-related arthritis.
“We don’t know if Watoto fell or laid down. My clinical assessment is that she was unable to stand back up, due to the joint disease,” Dr. Darin Collins, the zoo’s director of Animal Health, said in a report.
Watoto, the lone Asian elephant in Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, died because she couldn’t stand up. And she couldn’t stand because of her ailing joints, caused by the environment in which she was forced to live: hard substrate in the barn and unyielding compacted ground outside. She didn’t suffer from any diseases or heart problems. And she wasn’t old–despite what the zoo is trying to tell people.
The zoo said the median life expectancy of an African elephant is 41 years. Watoto was 45. But the key word in the zoos statement is median. If you exclude baby elephants, who die more often than adults, and you exclude poaching, which takes the lives of elephants in their prime, you’ll see that elephants in the wild live longer than their captive counterparts. Wild elephants can live into their 60s and 70s. In fact, females are most fertile between 35 and 45, meaning in the wild, Watoto would be still giving birth to calves.
Wild elephants don’t suffer the degenerative joint diseases and foot problems like the majority of captive elephants face.
Confined elephants can’t travel like they should. In the wild, elephants can travel twenty miles a day. Elephants who aren’t free develop psychological problems and physical health problems.
Woodland Park Zoo said Watoto was geriatric. They want people to think Watoto was old. In reality, she suffered because she was isolated and confined. Captivity killed her.
The two surviving elephants, Chai and Bamboo, urgently need to be released to a sanctuary. Please keep up the pressure on Seattle City Council and Mayor Ed Murray.
You can sign this petition, and you can write to the council and mayor at the addresses below.
Seattle Mayor and City Council addresses:
Ed.firstname.lastname@example.org, Jean.Godden@seattle.gov, Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov, Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Sally.Clark@seattle.gov, Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov, Nick.Licata@seattle.gov, Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov, Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov, Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov
King Council addresses:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Dave.Upthegrove@kingcounty.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Zoo management and Board of Directors: Deborah.firstname.lastname@example.org, Bruce.Bohmke@zoo.org, Darin.Collins@zoo.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanctuary is the humane choice that is a win for all stakeholders:
Necropsy Reveals Disturbing Death of Seattle Zoo Elephant
Did Neglect Kill Woodland Park’s African Elephant Matriarch?
Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants
Community Coalition for Elephant Retirement
Have you heard of “soring”? It’s a cruel practice some show horses are forced to endure. It’s meant to give show horses like Tennessee Walkers an unnaturally high gait. It’s done with the use of chains, chemicals, and sharp objects–and it needs to stop.
Check out this page from the Humane Society. It has more details, a petition, and a video that show the practice of soring.
Help end a 50-year-old tradition by making a brief, polite phone call to your two U.S. senators and your U.S. representative to put an end to soring.
Please tell them you’re a constituent and you urge them to make sure that the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, S. 1406/H.R. 1518, comes to a vote.
PAST is the only bill that would require better USDA enforcement and put an end to soring.
…because at SOME POINT, SOMEWHERE, SOMEONE is going to open a last letter, click on a last email, read the results of a last poll, and finally say, OK. We’re done.
Standing at a protest outside Woodland Park
Prison Zoo a few days ago, I was nonplussed at the number of people giving us the thumbs-up and waving and nodding….as they went in to visit the zoo. I wondered about it aloud to a fellow protester: why are these people still going in if they agree with our reason for being here? One of the people marching in turned around and said truculently, BECAUSE IT’S FUN!
I remember being there. I went to zoos. I went to aquariums. I went to Sea World. I went to Parrot Jungle. It was something you did if you ‘loved animals’: you went to look at them. Even when I was very little, it made me vaguely uncomfortable. My parents always seemed sad there, but they went anyway. It was as if we all knew something fundamental about it was badly wrong, but it was an immutable part of the status quo. Finding out exactly how bad those places are was never much of a surprise, but finding out how POWERFUL individuals are in creating change, was.
Predictably, Sea World has reacted to calls for liberation by deciding to build bigger prisons, hoping most people won’t realize bigger bathtubs are still bathtubs, even if they are decorated around the edges with plastic rocks and plants.
I am asking you to let them know a real sea change has occurred, and no amount of window dressing will ever make imprisonment for entertainment alright again. It’s gone beyond conditions. It is a matter of rights. The ones they have and we don’t.
So please, right now, when you finish reading — not later today, not tomorrow — tell SeaWorld to set in place a firm plan to release the animals to sanctuaries that can provide them with a more natural environment (like sea pens, pending release). And tell them to do it now — not in 10 years, not even in five.
Sign an online petition here.
And/or better yet, make direct contact:
Jim Atchison (president & CEO of SeaWorld), PO Box 690129, Orlando, FL 32869
The Blackstone Group
Contact information for 29 locations to write, call and/or fax…
One wolf, a pup, has already been shot from a helicopter by a hunter hired by the State of Washington using your tax dollars. Yesterday, Monday, Fish & Wildlife hunters were out again, targeting more wolves from what is known as the Huckleberry Pack. The state could have used rubber bullets or paintball rounds to harass the wolves, but instead resorted immediately to airborne snipers.
Why? Wolves from that pack have allegedly killed about 20 sheep and injured three more. Wolves were driven to extinction in Washington in the early 1900s by a government-sponsored eradication program on behalf of the livestock industry. Their population has grown to about 50 wolves again today, but an entire pack was exterminated in 2012 to stop cattle depredation. A lot of ranchers and hunters object to the presence of wolves, saying they prey on livestock (which the ranchers want to sell to other people to kill) and deer (which the hunters want to kill themselves for fun). The next time some hunter uses the the excuse that they need to keep the deer population down, remember that they suddenly object when wolves start doing that naturally for them.
Fish & Wildlife say that non-lethal methods have been used, but we know they have refused multiple offers of help for non-lethal coexistence, including from WSU. F&W also points out that the livestock owner has not done anything to attract the wolves — apart, of course, from choosing to pasture 1800 sheep in wolf country, just three miles from the known location of the wolves’ den.
The sheep were already meant to have been moved, but were not.
PLEASE call AND email Governor Inslee and tell him to immediately ground the helicopters, get Department of Wildlife staff on the ground to get the sheep out of this area, and to NEVER let this happen again.
With the passing of Watoto, The Seattle Times wrote a superb Editorial about elephants in captivity.
Please vote and share the poll with everyone you know!
Chai and Bamboo NEED your help to get a strong vote. We need to show the Mayor and City Council that people want the elephants to go to a sanctuary.
Please VOTE and share!
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.
For the past 20 years, the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, owned by MGM, has kept a low profile about the fact that they have TEN dolphins in intense confinement, subjected to the unbearable desert heat, forced to perform for food, and interact with high-paying guests who want ‘yoga with dolphins’. Several have already died due to inadequate care and stress.
Please tell MGM Resorts to shut down their dolphin exhibit at the Mirage Hotel & Casino and retire the surviving dolphins to a coastal sea pen. They obviously don’t care that this would be the right thing to do, but they could pretend to, and get some great positive publicity for themselves, while setting a wonderful example for others to follow. You can pretend too: to have been planning a massive wedding there — until you found out about their captive dolphins. Hey, if they can include a whole page on their website all about their fictitious concern for the planet and all its creatures, you can have fictitious weddings.
So please, email the Mirage at DreamService@Mirage.com. If you have a page of real paper handy, you can also write to the Manager at The Mirage Hotel and Casino 3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd.. Las Vegas, NV 89109