Send Asha the African Elephant to Sanctuary
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Asha, a 35-year-old female, African elephant has been alone at the Natural Bridge Zoo in Virginia for an accumulative 22 years. She is forced to give over 10,000 rides a year, despite active tuberculosis findings in monkeys held at the zoo. This is a huge risk to the public who are in close proximity to her on a daily basis. Her toenails are cracked due to lack of foot care, and the zoo has been cited for failing to provide adequate veterinary care across the board. These are just a handful of the issues she faces on a daily basis.
In April 2015, the Natural Bridge Zoo's permit to publicly exhibit wild animals was suspended by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF). The zoo has since reopened despite numerous, ongoing complaints and inspections.
To call this zoo anything short of a roadside attraction would be an injustice to those animals who have suffered and died during the many decades it’s been allowed to operate. The zoo has made it in the list of top 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants by In Defense of Animals for the last four years, and after public pressure and undercover footage from the Humane Society of the United States was released, the zoo has been cited uncountable times by the USDA for issues including, but not limited to, contaminated food, sanitation issues, rodent infestation, and improper containment.
Due to the nature of these citations and disregard of many of them, we are asking that the DGIF step up and take permanent action. The DGIF has fallen short in assisting the USDA despite the fact that these issues are entirely within their jurisdiction. We ask the Attorney General to hold the DGIF accountable to taking appropriate action. Please consider sending Asha to a sanctuary, revoking the zoo's license permanently, and finding placement for the zoo's remaining animals that will meet their needs as a species.
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