Tag Archives: 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


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?


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


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.


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!

RIP Watoto – Vigil at noon on Saturday, August 23rd‏

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.

Email: Ed.murray@seattle.gov,

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.