Tag Archives: Elephants

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

Wild elephants to be ripped from their families!

The Dallas Zoo in Texas, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo in Nebraska, and Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas want to rip 18 wild elephants from their families and home in Swaziland to fill their cages.

Please ask the Fish and Wildlife Service to deny permits to import 18 wild elephants to U.S. zoos. Just a few minutes of your time could spare these wild elephants a lifetime of misery in a tiny yard and in a barren barn cell. But hurry! The deadline for comments is Monday, November 23, 2015.

African Elephants

Please politely demand that the Fish and Wildlife Service NOT grant a permit to import these wild elephants. Some say there is no room for the elephants where they currently live. If so, they could be moved to another location in the wild. The elephants need to stay within Africa.

What you can do

  1. Submit a comment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Just one line will do. Click here to comment.
  2. Make 3 phone calls to your 2 Senators and 1 representative.  Click here to find their phone numbers.

To learn more read Conservation Charade: U.S. Zoo Propose Importing Wild African Elephants and go to Big Rumble’s Facebook page.

Talking points from Big Rumble

  • I am shocked that these zoos intend to engage in the cruel and archaic capture of wild elephants for captivity. Science has told us about elephants’ sensitivity, their intelligence, and their strong family bonds, which zoos will tear apart.
  • It’s wrong to tear young elephants away from their mothers just to put them on display in zoos where they face considerably shorter life spans than elephants in protected wild areas.
  • Captivity is not conservation. None of the Swaziland elephants or any offspring will ever be released back into the wild to help populations in Africa. Zoos need to help protect elephants where they live — that is true conservation!
  • Culling has not been used in Southern Africa for two decades; non-lethal management alternatives are now considered best practice. Zoos should not be shamelessly exploiting threats to kill elephants and pretend to be “saving” them.
  • If you really want to “save” these elephants, then work with BGP to find space for them in Swaziland or elsewhere in Africa — rather than offering a cash incentive not to.
  • Killing is NOT the only alternative to capture. Even if we believe that elephants confined to a tiny part of Swaziland are doing significant damage to the land, there are other protected areas that they could be moved to.
  • There can be no justification for harming elephants, including conserving rhinos. A humane solution exists: Relocate the Swaziland elephants elsewhere in Africa and keep them wild!
  • Both Omaha and Sedgwick County are cold-weather zoos where the elephants would spend significant time indoors, endangering their health. All three zoos have limited space — nothing like the areas elephants naturally need to thrive.
  • Importing elephants from Swaziland has nothing to do with helping elephants. It is a shameless ploy to increase zoo attendance, at a cost to the elephants’ lives, freedom, and families.

Please share this widely. Let’s do all we can to assure a huge outcry over this barbaric scheme. Thank you!

Rodeo & Circus Protests Coming Right Up

The rodeo and the circus are coming to Puget Sound over the next few weeks — two great opportunities to educate people about the cruelty involved in using animals for public entertainment.

This rodeo is this weekend at the state fair in Puyallup. Rodeos commonly use something called a “hotshot” — an electrical jolt — to get animals riled up while they’re in the chute. While in the ring, the animals often wear “bucking straps” that burn their abdomens and groins and make them buck. That’s what you can’t see; then there’s calf roping and other obvious torments.

You can help educate people who aren’t aware of the pain, injury and deaths caused by rodeos by attending a demo this weekend:

When: Saturday, Sept. 12, noon to 2 p.m.

Where: Meet at corner of 9th Ave SW & 4th St SW, Puyallup WA

10712389_10152675347071866_541084071434801380_oThe circus is also returning this fall, at shows in Kent and Everett.

Its cruelties are well-documented, and earlier this year Ringling Brothers said it will stop using elephants in shows — although the animals will be retired to Ringling’s breeding facility. Ringling also uses big cats and other animals in its shows (it does not bring the big cats to Puget Sound).

You can help educate people about the torment that animals suffer in the circus at these demos just before each circus show in September and October:

ShoWare Center in Kent

When: Sept. 24 (5:30 p.m.), Sept. 25 (5:30 p.m.), Sept. 26 (10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.), Sept. 27 (11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.)

Xfinity Arena in Everett

When: Oct. 1 (5:30 p.m.), Oct. 2 (5:30 p.m.), Oct. 3 (10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.),  Oct. 4 (11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.)

Sign up for these events on NARN’s Facebook page — or just meet us there!

Elephants and wolves need your help

(From HSUS)

Soon, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a spending bill containing riders that are harmful to both elephants and wolves.

wolf pup

TAKE ACTION

Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Representative today and urge a “yes” vote on the Grijalva-Hanna ivory amendment and Tsongas wolf amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill.

Look up your legislator’s phone number.

You can say: “I’m a constituent and I would like you to protect wolves and elephants. Please vote “yes” on the Grijalva-Hanna ivory amendment and Tsongas wolf amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill.”

After making your call, check out the HSUS page where you can fill in and submit a form to send a follow-up message. Legislators receive a lot of email; be sure to edit your message so it stands out.

Thank you!

Urge Circus World to end cruel elephant exhibits

Circus World in Baraboo, Wisconsin, offers outdated elephant acts and rides. PETA is urging the Circus World Museum Foundation’s board of directors to end the cruelty. Please go to this petition and sign for the elephants.

Elephant Joy RideElephant rides belong in the history books and have no place in modern society.

Please speak up for elephants by urging the Circus World Museum Foundation’s board of directors to listen to the modern audience and stop endangering the public and abusing elephants.

Caroling at City Hall

Are you ready to sing for the elephants?

caroler

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.

Woodland Park Zoo in Violation over Elephant Care

FWPZlogo

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, zooinfo@zoo.org, deborah.jensen@zoo.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.roach@zoo.org,  group.registration@zoo.org,  zoocorps@zoo.org, groupsales@zoo.org, membership@zoo.org, Jim.Bennett@zoo.org,  woodlandparkzoopr@zoo.org, Gigi.Allianic@zoo.org, Laura.Lockard@zoo.org, Anne.Knapp@zoo.org, Kim.Haas@zoo.org, Rebecca.Whitham@zoo.org, npell57@gmail.com, alaico@paws.org,  DeggingerG@LanePowell.com, jason.hamlin@ubs.com,gduvernoy@forterra.org, jmanning@cascadialaw.com, fen@cofen.com, jan@dennyhillcapital.com, stuart@dennyhillcapital.com, bryce.seidl@outlook.com, larry.phillips@kingcounty.gov, laurie.stewart@soundcb.com, peter.c.wang@ampf.com, Glennkawasaki@hotmail.com, Pattisavoy@hotmail.com, Ddevita@hotmail.com, Elizabeth.A.Sicktich@wellsfargo.com, marianne@bichselpublicaffairs.com, LSCaputo@aol.com, jwleppo@stoel.com, slinker@vetmed.wsu.edu, robliddell@comcast.net, Kirsten.Pisto@zoo.org, donations@zoo.org, Fred.Koontz@zoo.org, Jamie.Creola@zoo.org, Kathryn.owen@zoo.org, martin.ramirez@zoo.org, jean.godden@seattle.gov, sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov, ed.murray@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, dow.constantine@kingcounty.gov

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:

  • Elephants are intelligent, far ranging animals that suffer physically and psychologically when confined in a tiny, impoverished environment.
  • The Mayor and City Council can act to retire the elephants. This violation of the AWA shows that the Zoo doesn’t put the elephants’ well-being first.
  • The Zoo’s revenues are down 6% in a booming local economy.  Nationwide, animal organizations’ revenues are at an all-time high.  Keeping elephants is bad for the Zoo’s reputation.
  • A sanctuary is the best we can do for Bamboo and Chai.  We owe this to them after giving up their entire lives to entertain us.
  • Two elephants, Watoto and Hansa, have died prematurely.  No more dead elephants!

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 truth about Watoto

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.

watoto-300x199

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.murray@seattle.gov, 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:

larry.gossett@kingcounty.gov, kathy.lambert@kingcounty.gov, larry.phillips@kingcounty.gov, Dave.Upthegrove@kingcounty.gov, jane.hague@kingcounty.gov, pete.vonreichbauer@kingcounty.gov, joe.mcdermott@kingcounty.gov, rod.dembowski@kingcounty.gov, reagan.dunn@kingcounty.gov, dow.constantine@kingcounty.gov

Zoo management and Board of Directors: Deborah.jensen@zoo.org, Bruce.Bohmke@zoo.org, Darin.Collins@zoo.org, nancy.hawkes@zoo.org, zooinfo@zoo.org

Sanctuary is the humane choice that is a win for all stakeholders:

  • The Zoo–and taxpayers–will save money and the zoo can be a leader in compassion.
  • Children will learn a valuable lesson in science
  • The Seattle Mayor, City Council, and citizens can be proud of their humane leadership
  • Most of all, Bamboo and Chai will have the best quality of life available.

Further reading:

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

 

Global March for Elephants and Rhinos

Every 15 minutes, an elephant is killed.

Every 9 to 11 hours, a rhino is killed.

These beautiful creatures are often poached for their ivory and horns. Whether for trinkets or so-called medicine, there is no justification for their deaths.

That’s why, this Saturday, thousands of people from over 125 cities around the world are participating in the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos. The event will bring awareness to the plight of elephants and rhinos–two species whose very existence is in peril (poaching kills 35,000 elephants and over 1,000 rhinos every year).

The march will put pressure on  governments around the globe to publicly destroy their stockpiles of wildlife parts and show zero tolerance for this illegal trading. The main reason these species are in decline is because of the growing trade in tusks and horns. Here are the details for the Seattle event:

What:  Global March for Elephants and Rhinos
When:  Saturday, Oct. 4th at noon – 2 pm
Where: International Children’s Park, 700 S Lane St, Seattle, WA

Global march for elephants and rhinos

The march will be about half a mile long. Signs will be provided, but you can bring your own. For more info or to RSVP to the event, check out the event’s Facebook page and the handy march map.

Before the march, a lineup of speakers will inform, inspire, and entertain. Cathy Sorbo, comedian and former Seattle PI columnist, will emcee the event. Speakers include:

  • Tom Skerritt, acclaimed actor and passionate animal conservationist.
  • Wendie Wendt, Executive Director of Big Life Foundation, one of the leading organizations in the fight to stop poaching.
  • Kathleen Gobush PhD, A research scientist who worked with Save the Elephants, a key player in saving elephants in Kenya. Currently she is a Senior Project Developer with Vulcan.
  • Lisa Kane JD, a retired lawyer and author who has advocated for the welfare of captive and wild elephants locally, nationally and internationally.

Please help bring awareness to this crisis and help stop the demand for elephant tusks and rhino horns.

Poll: Should Woodland Park Zoo send its elephants to a sanctuary?

With the passing of Watoto, The Seattle Times wrote a superb Editorial about elephants in captivity.

Please read the article and answer the poll about whether the zoo should send its elephants to a sanctuary. The poll is at the end of the article.

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.

elephants in zoos or sanctuaries

Please VOTE and share!