Watoto Died Without Ever Having Had a Good Day
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants
August 2014

Take action here - Watoto Died Without Ever Having Had a Good Day.

Watoto zoo elephant

Seattle - Watoto was discovered lying down unable to right herself when the keepers arrived th morning of August 22. The Zoo's staff decided to euthanize her after being unable to raise her.

Watoto was only 45 years. In the wild, she would have been in the prime of her life; still bearing calves. Confinement in a zoo takes a devastating physical and psychological toll on these far-ranging and intelligent animals. The zoo industry's own statistics show that elephants die young.

Woodland Park Zoo denied Watoto of one her greatest needs--companionship of her own kind. After being ripped from her mother in Africa as a baby, Watoto never set eyes on another African elephant. The zoo also denied Watoto the opportunity to spend her remaining years in a sanctuary.

Watoto suffered from a host of chronic captivity related diseases as a result of living her entire life in the cramped quarters of Woodland Park.

Woodland Park Zoo is an exceptionally poor environment. The elephants are locked outdoors in less than 1 acre. Indoors, the elephants are locked in barren cages, standing on hard substrate and only able to walk a few steps in any direction. This lockup, due to our climate, lasts 16-17 hours a day, every day, for over half of the year. Scientific American describes this as: "tortuous conditions [which] inflict serious physical and psychological damage on such smart and sensitive animals."

Watoto zoo elephant

We hope that Watoto's suffering and death will not be in vain. We are very grateful for Seattle's Mayor Murray's statement. We need him to go farther: Bamboo and Chai need to retire to a sanctuary. Here’s the Mayor’s statement:

“The death of Watoto the elephant is very sad news.

I want to express my condolences to all who loved her, particularly the animal management staff who cared for her at Woodland Park Zoo. I know this is a very difficult moment for them.

At the same time, I do believe that today’s news should reopen a dialogue in this city about the proper habitat for elephants.”

Please write to ask the Mayor and the City Council to order the zoo to release Bamboo and Chai to a sanctuary. They have the authority.

Ed.murray@seattle.gov, Jean.Godden@seattle.gov,Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov, Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Sally.Clark@seattle.gov, Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov, Nick.Licata@seattle.gov, Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov, Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov, Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov

Please call the Mayor anytime on Wednesday, the 27th. Ask the Mayor to withhold funds from Woodland Park Zoo until the elephants are released to a sanctuary (206) 684-4000.


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