Pack a Trunk

Despite efforts by animal welfare activists, the zoo decides to ship a problem elephant out of the country

Greene says that the zoo did not send Jenny to Tennessee because the facility does not offer 24-hour veterinary care, a service she will enjoy at Africam. "We are not required to have veterinarians on staff, but we have access to veterinarians around the clock," says Carol Buckley, the sanctuary's founding director.

While Africam is guided by the AZA's regulations on elephant management, it is not under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In accordance with the Animal Welfare Act, the USDA can bring legal sanctions against facilities that fail to handle animals in a humane manner.

"AZA standards are pitifully minimal. I'm very concerned about sending her out of the country to an unknown facility where she does not have the same anti-cruelty protections that she has here in the United States," said Doyle after meeting with the zoo and city council members last Tuesday.

Margaret Morin says the Dallas Zoo has blocked efforts to help Jenny the elephant.
Brian Harkin
Margaret Morin says the Dallas Zoo has blocked efforts to help Jenny the elephant.
Jenny the elephant will be sent to Africam Safari Park in Puebla, Mexico.
Brian Harkin
Jenny the elephant will be sent to Africam Safari Park in Puebla, Mexico.

The Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary is not AZA-accredited.

Although IDA, PETA and Concerned Citizens for Jenny continue to hold out hope that the council or the zoo will reconsider The Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary before Jenny's transfer to Africam, during last Tuesday's meetings Councilman Ron Natinsky told them the battle was over.

"What we got from Councilmember Natinsky is that he felt they sent out the press release, they did the press conference and this was a done deal," Doyle says. "He said, 'We're not going to take it back.'"

That doesn't mean anybody is giving up. Morin and Concerned Citizens are circulating a letter begging people to contact Mayor Tom Leppert and city council members in the hopes of changing their minds, and PETA has offered to pay Leppert's way to the Tennessee facility so that he may survey for himself the kind of care Jenny would receive there.

The mayor has not yet decided if he will make the trek.

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