Letters to the Editor

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ZOO: Move elephants now to Tennessee sanctuary

Letter by Alyne Fortgang, Seattle on May 3, 2011 at 1:45 pm with 4 Comments »
May 3, 2011 1:45 pm

Why is the elephant exhibit at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium inadequate for future elephants but fine for Hanako and Suki now? PDZA’s 10-year plan proposes phasing out the elephant exhibit due to the “need to expand the physical footprint”—unfortunately, after Hanako or Suki dies. Why wait?

Hanako and Suki were born genetically wired to walk great distances. Science has shown that movement is critical to their physical and psychological health. Yet they are caged in a one-acre pen devoid of a single living tree. Inside, they are locked in a tiny, barren stall.

The 2,700-acre Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee is the humane option. Its thousands of acres are teeming with the richness of nature: hills blanketed with forests, vast meadows, a 25-acre lake — and 14 elephants. Given the choice, these social animals choose to be with elephants, not humans.

By moving both elephants now, and to the sanctuary rather than another small urban zoo, Hanako and Suki can integrate into a stable herd. When one of them dies, the survivor will have companions to provide comfort — just as in the wild.

PDZA has the opportunity to impart a valuable lesson of compassion to our children by allowing Hanako and Suki to have the best life possible, immediately.

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. The Point defiance zoo should be closed. It’s hard to believe that PETA will protest a circus but not this zoo! It’s the only zoo that I’ve been that you can go through in a half an hour even if you take time to read the discripitions. No this isn’t the only zoo I’ve been to.

  2. harleyrider1 says:

    C’mon PETA was all over the goldfish racing at Harmon’s last month. They probably have a lot of other important things to do.

  3. YeeHaw says:

    Nice letter, Alyne Fortgang. I agree wholeheartedly. I also agree that the Pt. Defiance Zoo is far too small a space for the animals they keep caged there. It’s really not healthy. However, I will say that it is a popular destination with local schoolchildren. If the Zoo is closed, a comparable destination devoted to teaching children about wildlife is needed. NW Trek is a great option, but not always accessible to low income urban families. Maybe some thinking out of the box is needed to move this Zoo into the 21st century.

  4. moiraz says:

    It would be kinder to move the elephants to a warmer climate. This area is much too cold for them.

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