For the Friends who might have missed the news -- and, really, don't know how that's possible -- there will be a "Save Jenny" rally on Sunday, from 1 to 2 p.m., in front of the Dallas Zoo next to the the giant giraffe. Organizers -- and, of course, council member Angela Hunt and PETA bigwigs -- are trying to convince the Dallas Zoo to move Jenny the elephant to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, rather than the Africam Safari Zoo in Mexico. For reasons explained in in this July 1 item and our news story a few weeks back, zoo officials have made up their minds: Jenny's going south of the border. Which, far as the Concerned Citizens for Jenny is concerned, is untenable.
After the jump, more from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal's Director of Captive Animal Rescue and Enforcement, Debbie Leahy, who last night wrote to Unfair Park about the organization's attempts to change Dallas Zoo officials' minds. Also, she provided these materials concerning Association of Zoos and Aquariums standards for elephant care and a chart comparing elephant sanctuaries to zoos. --Robert Wilonsky
From Debbie Leahy:
We first wrote to Dallas Zoo about sending Jenny to a sanctuary when Keke died and again last month offering to send zoo officials and the city council to visit the sanctuary.
Much has been made by the Dallas Zoo that the zoo in Mexico is accredited by the AZA. But AZA standards for elephants are pathetic. Attached are some highlights that show the AZA permits the barbaric use of bullhooks and chaining, which sanctuaries don't allow. And the AZA's space recommendations are equivalent to the size of a 3-car garage. Also attached is a zoo vs sanctuary comparison.
Zoos have done a lousy job of caring for elephants. In zoos, elephants are unhealthy, dysfunctional, and in some cases beaten and chained. More than half of the 59 elephants (excludes newborns and infants under 2) who have died at accredited zoos since 2000 never reached their 40th birthday, dying far short of their 70-year lifespan. They also breed poorly in captivity and have high infant mortality rates. The Dallas Zoo plans to spend millions on a new elephant enclosure that will sit empty because zoos are running out of elephants. Most elephants in captivity were captured in the wild. In order for zoos to sustain their elephant exhibits for years to come, it would require capturing more elephants from the wild, which the public no longer finds acceptable.