As a result of inadequate facilities, abusive management practices, longstanding intentional neglect, and breeding practices in callous disregard for elephants’ welfare, the elephants Bamboo, Watoto, and Chai at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo suffer from severe and chronic foot and joint injuries, unexplained physical trauma and bleeding, and sustained psychological harm. Chai’s daughter, Hansa, died in 2007 when she was only six years old as a result of the Zoo’s practices. A fourth Woodland Park Zoo elephant, Sri, who is currently on loan to another zoo’s breeding program, has endured the horror of carrying a full-term deceased fetus in her womb for over four years.
Over the last twenty years, more and more zoos have been eliminating their elephant exhibits as an increased knowledge about elephants has shown that it is difficult and costly to keep them physically and psychologically healthy in captivity. Shamefully, the Woodland Park Zoo continues to use taxpayer money to exploit its elephants while failing to provide them with adequate care.
It’s time for the City of Seattle to pull the plug on the Zoo's inadequate facilities and cruel and dangerous practices in its elephant exhibit.