Woodland Park elephants to finally be relocated

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    Its about time


    SEATTLE — The Woodland Park Zoo announced on Wednesday it is ending its on-site elephant program.

    Two female Asian elephants, 47-year-old Bamboo and 35-year-old Chai, who currently live at the zoo will be moved together to a new accredited facility.


    Nora Bell

    Hope this means they are accepting the offer given by the preserve, and not just going to another zoo. A big step for them, though, to admit they are wrong.



    Nora Bell, I suppose if the preserve is AZA accredited, that might be a possible outcome. But it sounds like Bamboo and Chai are headed to another zoo.

    Here straight from the zoo’s website:


    “We will ensure Bamboo and Chai will be relocated together to an Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) facility that shares our commitment to animal health and welfare and conservation through education, and provides viewing access to the animals. We have not identified a new home at this time but we expect to move them in 2015. They will be a part of our family for the rest of their lives and we will continue to follow their welfare at their new home,” added Jensen.



    BH – thanks for posting this info.
    It looks like unless we can protest more and get the zoo folks to think “sanctuary”, they will be going to another ZOO! Arg..
    More info here:

    So very sad about these poor animals…


    Nora Bell

    There are larger zoos with more space for them to roam, but nothing like a sanctuary can offer. Still, it’s a dent in the zoo’s stubborn attitude. Better, but not the best they could do for them.



    Keep the pressure on them to be sure Chai and Boo go to a more suitable habitat for them. They need a warmer climate and WAY more natural space. No zoo can afford them that. Please visit Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants either on the web or on facebook to find out how you can help.

    I long ago lost faith in the management of WPZ. They have lost their heart and soul. That’s why I stopped volunteering there after 20 years as a keeper aid and moved on to a chimp sanctuary. Next step is to keep this in the public eye and contact the city council and mayor to remind them that the zoo still gets millions of dollars in tax payer funding each year.

    One immediate bright side to this is that there will be no more elephants forced to live in Seattle in a substandard habitat for them.


    Life is amazing

    it looks like there is a protest this coming Monday to try and get them to a sanctuary instead of a zoo. It’s on the friends of the woodland park zoo elephants facebook page. It would be interesting to call the zoo and ask why they would rather a zoo than a sanctuary.



    LIA – from what I understand the folks at the zoo want the poor creatures to go to an “accredited” facility, none of the sanctuaries are accredited by the zoological powers that be. It is crazy! I just finished reading a wonderful book “Elephant Company” but Vicki Croke, about a man who loved and worked with elephants in Burma (now Myanmar) and it is amazing that the folks at WPZ do not understand what these animals need. The book is worth reading and the elephants need to go to one of the two sanctuaries that want them. They deserve to live in peace from now on.



    Is this what you mentioned:
    I was thinking of going, I have a tee shirt from a protest about 8 years ago, I might wear it.



    Well, the decision is in, and to nobody’s surprise, Chai and Bamboo are headed to another zoo….


    We are happy to announce that we have selected Oklahoma City Zoo, which best meets our criteria based on recommendations from animal welfare experts: a social herd of Asian elephants into which Chai and Bamboo may successfully integrate, a state-of-the-art facility, a healthy environment free of active infectious disease, high caliber elephant keeper and veterinary staff, a restricted contact management system, and an established history of stable finances and leadership. – See more at: http://woodlandparkzblog.blogspot.com/2015/02/bamboo-and-chai-to-join-oklahoma-city.html#sthash.Tgl527Dd.dpuf


    great idea

    Oklahoma City??

    that sounds like some kind of cruel joke.

    did Howard Schultz have a role in this?



    Shelley – thanks for posting that info.
    What is wrong with these people?
    OKC zoo has a “$13 million, state-of-the-art exhibit spans 9.5 acres, with 3.95 acres available for the elephants” (whatever that means) and this will now house the four they have plus the two from WPZ.

    The Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary has 2,700 acres! for 11 Asian and 2 African elephants and it is not open to the public.
    It seems like a no-brainer, but I guess they just want to make money and subject these magnificent animals to more pain and suffering.



    Well it appears that “Friends Of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants” have filed a law suite to try and stop this move!
    Please sign this message urging major WPZ donors like Alaska Airlines, Costco, Safeco, PCC, Cornish College, and Vulcan to support sanctuary NOT another zoo!:



    More reportage in the Seattle Times: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/woodland-park-zoo-to-announce-elephants-new-home/

    And it looks like the WPZ is trying to smear the rep of the sanctuaries.

    But Alyne Fortgang, co-founder of Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, said the animals won’t have significantly more room to roam than they do now, and will also face bitter cold in Oklahoma City, where the temperature Friday was 18 degrees, with light snow falling.

    “It’s quite clear the zoo is not making the elephants’ well-being a priority,” she said. “The quality of life for Bamboo and Chai will be worse if they go to Oklahoma City.”

    Fortgang and her organization say the elephants would be better off in one of the country’s two elephant sanctuaries, where animals are not on public display, are not bred and are allowed to roam over large tracts of land.

    Jensen said both sanctuaries have problems that made them unsuitable, ranging from a lack of stable management to the presence of tuberculosis infections.

    At the Performing Animal Welfare Society sanctuary in California, the Asian elephant herd is under quarantine due to TB. That means Chai and Bamboo would have to be isolated by themselves at least until the other animals are treated and declared clear of active disease, said Dr. Darin Collins, director of animal health programs at Woodland Park.

    Sorry for the long quote, but apparently some folk can’t get through the payment wall at Seattle Times.


    Avocado Head

    I’m not a big fan of zoos in general, but I really, really dislike that zoo. If I was king, I’d bulldoze the whole thing and turn in to a park / community space / bird sanctuary / whatever. But I’m not even related to the king, so…

    Petition: signed




    If anyone is interested and has not seen it yet, there is a current discussion regarding the elephants on Nextdoor Ballard:

    I am all for Chai and Bamboo going to a sanctuary, however I must admit that I was not fully aware of the TB issues at both of the sanctuaries, but I still think they would be better off at a sanctuary rather than at any other zoo.



    Ringling Bros. is eliminating their elephant acts too:


    The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus told the Associated Press news agency that it plans to stop using the animals by 2018.

    It said growing public concern about how the animals are treated led to the decision.

    The company’s 43 elephants will live at an animal conservation centre in Florida.

    Anyone know anything about that facility in Florida?



    Sally B says:

    The Seattle City Council won’t try to block the transfer of Woodland Park Zoo’s two Asian elephants to the Oklahoma City Zoo, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said Thursday.

    Bagshaw said she would have rather seen the animals moved to a sanctuary, but that the habitat at Oklahoma City will be an improvement over what 48-year-old Bamboo and 36-year-old Chai currently have in Seattle.

    So what’s left in the no-move to another zoo arsenal?




    Strangely the http://www.elephantcenter.com/ might even be a better home for these two wonderful animals. But they would probably never get to be there.


    great idea

    this is an incredibly touchy subject.

    I am fine sending them to OKC. I still believe there is a benefit in allowing people (kids in particular) to experience these animals first-hand, which I don’t think the sanctuaries generally do.

    also, the much larger issue of elephant poaching in Africa is very real. this is a species which needs to be kept on our radar; only a vigilant response can keep them around in the wild.

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