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
(The following information is from In Defense of Animals)
The city council in Seal Beach, California approved a plan to kill coyotes in the area by gassing them in a mobile CO2 chamber.
According to the “pest” control company Critter Busters, the coyotes will be caught in live traps and then transferred into mobile gas chambers with carbon dioxide (CO2). California has outlawed CO2 chambers for dogs and cats, so why are wild animals allowed to suffer?
This decision is a reaction to several dogs who have been killed by coyotes. City council’s misguided plan to brutally gas coyotes doesn’t address the real reasons why coyotes are coming into contact with people. It fails to take into account human behavior, including people leaving food sources outside, and even worse—residents apparently actually feeding the coyotes.
Losing an animal companion, whether to a disease, a car accident, or to coyotes is always a tragedy.
The coyotes are just trying to survive. It’s up to people to protect their companion animals without having coyotes killed by the tens of thousands nationwide every year without any true prospect of reducing their populations.
Killing coyotes does not work – not on the prairies, and not within city limits.
Killing coyotes won’t stop them from coming into town. It’s just one of those things that we cannot, should not, and do not need to control, because we have better ways to deal with situations like the one Seal Beach is experiencing: respectful and compassionate co-existence. Get rid of the reasons the coyotes are coming into town and the coyotes won’t be an issue.
Please click the link to IDAs site and fill out the form to send the letter to the Seal Beach mayor and City Council members. Follow up with a polite call to tell them to put an immediate halt to the senseless trapping and gassing of coyotes.
Did you know that the Puget Sound area is a bastion of primate captivity, torture, poison, and death. Seattle is home to three University of Washington primate laboratories, including the nations only infant primate laboratory, there is a primate testing breeding, importing, and consulting firm in Edmonds, and Everett is home to a third-party animal clinical trial facility that tests on primates and other non-human animals.
Primate Liberation Week is a time for us all to take pause in our lives and think about the “someones not somethings” that currently suffer scared and sick behind bars, in dark cages, experiencing heart breaking horrors in the name of science. Please join us to speak out for our cousins, help educate the public on why animal experimentation is not good for people or animals, and hold animal abusers accountable. [N = NARN hosted event]
If these events don’t fit in your schedule, there are other opportunities to volunteer. We need help with volunteers to hold banners for a few mornings during the week and to help table at the UW if you are a student or have expertise in primates. Please get in touch with us.
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
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:
Please help bring awareness to this crisis and help stop the demand for elephant tusks and rhino horns.