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In Chai's memory, please take two actions

When Scientific American described elephants’ lives in zoos as torturous, Chai could have been the poster child. Ripped from her mother as a 1-year-old baby she was crated and shipped from Thailand to a cold, barren barn cell in Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. At 19 years old and after countless failed artificial insemination attempts, she was sent across the country to Dickerson Park Zoo to be bred. Upon her arrival she was beaten for up to 2 ½ hours for which that zoo was fined by the USDA. She lost 1,000 pounds.

chai

Chai came back to Seattle pregnant. Soon after Hansa was born Woodland Park Zoo began the artificial inseminations again. She was violated by this highly invasive procedure 112 times!

Chai endured the death of Hansa who died at only 6 years old from the herpes virus. This disease is almost always fatal to young Asian calves. Even though all the elephants at Woodland Park Zoo had been exposed to the herpes virus, the Zoo continued to artificially inseminate Chai—despite Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants’ relentless protests.

After Watoto died in 2014, the city of Seattle considered filing charges against Woodland Park Zoo.  Watoto went down during the night due to lameness and arthritis directly caused by zoo confinement. Woodland Park Zoo did not seek the assistance of a crane to lift her and she laid on the ground suffering for 4 more hours until she was euthanized. Woodland Park Zoo decided to close the elephant exhibit.

Ignoring science, the vast majority of Seattle residents, powerful media voices, the City Council and the Mayor, the Zoo shipped Bamboo and Chai to the Oklahoma City Zoo—a worse zoo.

We are asking that the Seattle City Council, Mayor Murray and Woodland Park Zoo urge the Oklahoma City Zoo to retire Bamboo to an accredited elephant sanctuary. 

PLEASE do two things in Chai’s memory:

1. Write an email to Seattle’s newly elected City Council, Mayor Murray and the Seattle City Council. Addresses to cut and paste are below. Just one line will do!
2. Sign this petition: http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/oklahoma-city-zoo-close-elephant-exhibit/

Talking points:

  • Woodland Park Zoo does not reflect Seattle’s values. Captivity of wild animals needs to end.
  • Woodland Park Zoo must pay for its negligence in caring for Chai, Watoto and Hansa. Please withhold funds from this rogue organization.
  • Chai, Watoto and Hansa suffered a lifetime of misery at the hands of Woodland Park Zoo.  Citizens demand more oversight.

bruce.bohmke@zoo.org, Ed.murray@seattle.gov, Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov, lisa.herbold@seattle.gov , Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov,
Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov,  Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov, Debora.Juarez@seattle.gov,  Lorena.Gonzalez@seattle.gov, Rob.johnson@seattle.gov

RIP Chai. Rest in your newly found peace.

Nancy Pennington and Alyne Fortgang
Co-founders, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants

Support the Animal-Abuse Registry in Washington State

Cowards who abuse or neglect animals are often repeat offenders and are violent to innocent creature of many forms, including humans.

Washington legislators are proposing Senate Bill 6234, a bill that would require state residents convicted of crimes against animals to register as offenders.

Such a registry would be a huge benefit for law-enforcement officials, animal shelters, concerned citizens, and of course animals.

This important bill must pass out of the Senate Law and Justice Committee by February 5 in order to move forward, so your voice is urgently needed! 

If you’re a Washington State resident, please fill out this form, urging your state legislators to support the bill.

Calling your state legislators is also extremely helpful. Ask them to urge the Senate Law and Justice Committee to schedule a hearing for Senate Bill 6234 and pass it out of committee for a vote.

You can  click here to identify your state legislators.

 

Chai Dies in OKC, Another Elephant Lost Too Young

tombstone_elephantsThe zookeeper who found Chai dead in her Oklahoma City cell this weekend thought she looked peaceful.

That might be the first time Chai was at peace since being taken from her mother at the age of one in Thailand. She was beaten at one location, then artificially inseminated 112 times in Seattle, where she also lost her 6-year-old daughter, Hansa, to herpes — a disease that’s ravaged young elephants in zoos for decades.

Chai also suffered from the pacing and swaying (here in Seattle) that’s indictive of the extreme trauma, stress and boredom that so many smart, social animals in captivity endure.

Zoo officials said the average life expectancy for an Asian elephant is 47. That’s in  captivity. In the wild, Chai would be in the prime of her life, as Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants point out.

Malee, a 3-year-old elephant, died of herpes in Oklahoma City last fall.

When zoo CEO Deborah Jensen bucked Seattle residents’ and the mayor’s wishes to send Chai and Bamboo to a sanctuary, and instead sent them to suffer in another zoo, she went against the wisdom of one of her predecessors and Lyn Tangen, from the Woodland Park Zoo Elephant Task Force, who wrote: “No one can seriously doubt that elephants that have 15 or more acres to roam are better off than elephants crammed into a 1 or 2 acre exhibit in a zoo…. In the 21st century, Seattle has better ways to save wild elephants and their habitats than continuing to keep Chai and Bamboo at a zoo.”

Jensen, who was a huge success in the captive-elephant-loving Association of Zoos and Aquariums,  is blessedly no longer in charge of the zoo.

Now Bamboo is alone in Oklahoma City, trying to integrate with a herd after an unsuccessful integration attempt years ago.

Take Action: Make Animal Cruelty a Federal Offense

Americans decry the dog torture and death that makes up the Chinese dog meat trade — but it’s still not a federal offense in the United States to crush, burn, suffocate, impale or otherwise subject animals to heinous cruelty.

It’s illegal to trade in video showing these activities, and the FBI is tracking animal abuse in a database that classifies such crimes as felonies — but they are not against the law at the federal level.

H.R. 2293, the Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT Act), would make those things illegal.

It has just a 10 percent chance of passing, according to GovTrack.us.

Please take the time to contact your legislators, asking them to co-sponsor this imporant bill.

How Ray the Rescue Pony Came Home, and Could Help Change the Law

When a family in rural Washington found an elderly Shetland pony wandering along the road, they took him in and, if his owners weren’t found, hoped to keep him.

Because of a misguided state law, they couldn’t. He was sent to auction, where they paid a pretty penny to keep him, as Animal News Northwest recounts in the tale of Runaway Ray the Pony.

If no one had bought Ray, his fortunates would have gone the way of other stray livestock: to Mexico or Canada to be slaughtered.

Fortunately, State Rep. Michelle Caldier (R-Port Orchard) sat in on the auction and tried to change the law so that animals like Ray can be adopted, if someone is willing and able, rather than auctioned.

A hearing for House Bill 2500 is scheduled for this Thursday, Jan. 28, before the House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources.

Please contact bill sponsor Rep. Caldier to voice your support: (360) 786-7802 and/or michelle.caldier@leg.wa.gov.

Committee Chair Brian Blake (D-Aberdeen) is a co-sponsor, as are Jesse Young (R-Gig Harbor), Tom Dent (R-Moses Lake) and Lynda Wilson (R-Vancouver).

Join us at Humane Lobby Day!

Have you heard about Humane Lobby Day? It’s one of the most important days for animals in Washington State and it’s happening on Wednesday, January 27th from 8-3.

Washington_State_Capitol_Legislative_Building

Humane Lobby Day is an opportunity for us—constituents—to speak up for animals by visiting our State legislators in Olympia and letting them know about the changes that are needed to protect animals.

Learn more and sign up here.

Humane Lobby Day is hosted by HSUS. If you have questions, please email state HSUS director Dan Paul at dpaul@humanesociety.org.

If you’re wondering if you can make a difference, the answer is yes!

Christie Legally, the HSUS Washington State Council secretary, explains, “People often worry that they don’t know anything about lobbying or the current bills.  The Lobby Day agenda includes time at the beginning of the day when we will all learn about the bills we need to support. Staff members from the HSUS and other animal welfare agencies will explain each bill and why it is important.  We will also be learning how to lobby by practicing lobbying for bills with other attendees. “

“Also, people often worry that they don’t know anyone in the animal protect movement, and therefore they hesitate to go to Lobby day alone. But I encourage folks to come to Lobby Day even if they don’t know anyone there. You will meet people who are a lot like you who are taking a stand to protect animals. You may even meet other people from your district when you attend your Lobby Day meetings together. This day will be a full, rich day of learning about animal protection and the role of our legislature to protect animals!”

Read more about the importance of attending Humane Lobby Day, and remember that January 22nd is the deadline to register, so sign up today!

Please Stop Showing Images of Birds in Captivity

2009ecard-2In honor of National Bird Day earlier this week, Born Free USA and the Avian Welfare Coalition called for websites and the public to stop sharing online videos of birds in captivity.

“While possibly entertaining to some, videos of captive parrots, parakeets, cockatoos, and others inadvertently promote the myth that birds are domesticated pets,” according to the National Bird Day site.

Birds are actually wild, intelligent animals with emotional and physical needs that cannot be met in captivity.

Laws protect blue jays, cardinals, crows and other native birds from commercial exploitation, but the pet industry allows such treatment of “pet, exotic” birds who even when bred in captivity are not domesticated and suffer terribly.

With nearly 12 percent of the 9,800 species of birds in the world facing extinction, including a third of the world’s 330 parrot species, which are among those that suffer from the illegal pet trade, it’s past time to start working to save them through activism and personal behavior.

Windows kill as many birds as cats. Learn how you can help prevent bird collisions with windows, like:

  • Keeping indoor houseplants and flowers away from windows where birds might see them and assume they’re outside
  • Installing new windows with a slight downward tilt so they do not reflect the sky and trees

Here are a host of other ways to save birds’ lives, including:

Before Thursday, sound the alert about a dairy expansion planned for King County

tall-chief-bannerAmazingly, King County has drawn up plan to sell land to the largest landowner in the Snoqualmie Valley — a confinement dairy that uses GMOs, Roundup and synthetic fertilizers — rather than to Seattle Tilth.

A King County Council committee will vote Thursday on the sale of the Tall Chief Golf Course to Keller Dairy, already the area’s largest landowner.

King County bought the property in 2013 for about $4.5 million to save it from development.

Despite a strong proposal from the highly respected non-profit Seattle Tilth, the county’s Natural Resources and Parks Department decided to sell the land for roughly $700,000 to expand the dairy.

Speak out against King County Ordinance 2015-0425!

It’s urgent: Messages must be sent before 8 a.m. Thursday:

  • Sign this petition.
  • Spread the word! Link to the Save Tall Chief website.
  • Write a quick email to council members, with the subject line “Vote “no” on King Co. Ordinance 2015-0425, the Tall Chief land sale for a confinement dairy” and a message like: “I’m writing to ask that you vote against King County Ordinance 2015-0425. This is not the best use of our government-owned property, particularly when Seattle Tilth has a better plan on the table.” Here are the email addresses, which you can paste all at once if you’re in a hurry: 
    • dave.upthegrove@kingcounty.gov
    • larry.phillips@kingcounty.gov
    • kathy.lambert@kingcounty.gov
    • joe.mcdermott@kingcounty.gov
    • reagan.dunn@kingcounty.gov
    • dow.constantine@kingcounty.gov
    • rod.dembowski@kingcounty.gov,
    • larry.gossett@kingcounty.gov
    • jane.hague@kingcounty.gov
    • pete.vonreichbauer@kingcounty.gov
  • Attend the King County Council’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee meeting at 11 a.m. on Thursday, at which members will discuss and vote on King County Ordinance 2015-0425. Double check  at this link before you leave to ensure it’s still on the agenda.  Here’s the address: King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue,  Room 1001, Seattle.

Thanksgiving week events

We’re ramping up for a busy week. Here’s a rundown of some of the ways you can get involved in the next few days.

Fri Nov 27 from 9am-11am
Vegan Outreach Downtown Seattle
Meet at 4th & Pine, in front of Starbucks

This is a chance to hand out vegan recipes and Why Vegan booklets to the crowds who will be congregating for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. People love the recipe books and it’s a great way to make a positive impact.

Fri Nov 27 from 11am-1pm
Fur Free Friday Downtown Seattle
Nordstrom Downtown Seattle, 500 Pine Street

After leafleting, it’s demo time! Hold a sign, hand out a flier, or simply be part of the group of people who oppose fur. There’s no need for cruelty in the 21st century.

Fri Nov 27 from 1pm-10pm
#BlackLivesMatterFriday 2.0 : The Quest For Freedom
Westlake Park, 401 Pine Street

After demos, let’s show solidarity with other groups. This event isn’t organized by NARN, but it’s important that we support our fellow activists. Oppression and injustices are rampant and we need to stand with others to make changes.

Sun Nov 29 from 6pm-9:30pm
No New Animal Lab Home Demos
Meet at Starbucks, 800 12th Ave, Seattle

This event isn’t organized by NARN, but we stand with the No New Animal Lab campaign and encourage you to attend protests at the houses of people involved in the plans to build a new underground animal lab at the University of Washington.

Tue Dec 1 from 6:30pm-8:30pm
NARN Letter Writing Party, Fur Free Friday Edition
Wayward Vegan Café, 801 NE 65th Street

Join NARN members, animal activists, and other vegans for a letter writing dinner at Wayward Café! We’ll be upstairs with stationery, stamps, and addresses. Just bring yourself!

Well, there’s no shortage of events in Seattle in the next week. Have a peaceful Thanksgiving, eat lots of delicious vegan food, and plug into the community however you can.

 

Free Trap-Neuter-Release Class in Snohomish

While Australia declares war on cats with plans to kill 2 million cats in the next two years — a violent campaign that will not accomplish its aims — there are legions of people in the United States trapping, neutering and releasing feral cats to ensure they will not proliferate.

The humane way, as usual, is the effective way.

Entire colonies of cats have been eradicated with TNR, in Seattle’s University District and elsewhere.

For those interested in helping, the Community Cat Coalition of Washington is holding a free class in TNR from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Snohomish Library in lovely Snohomish, WA.

A potluck afterward will introduce newly trained trappers to mentors. If enough of us show up, maybe it can be a largely vegan potluck!

RSVP to CCCofWaTNRclass@gmail.com.

More info at the Community Cat Coalition’s website and on Facebook.

tnr