By Jeanne Brown [Letter to Editor\
I would like to know why The Seattle Times is so invested in sending the Woodland Park Zoo elephants away from their home [“Retire zoo elephants to a sanctuary,” Opinion, March 19\. It is one thing to print an article or series, but the editors seem determined to send the girls away.
It truly would be akin to taking your dog and sending him to a wolf sanctuary. Like your dog, the zoo elephants would not only have to find their place in a new pack (herd), with its own pecking order, but they would miss the place they have lived for decades and the people whom they love and who love them.
I honestly wonder if you have even read the WPZ Board of Directors task-force report. One of the things it speaks to is the close relationship these elephants have to their keepers and the good job that the zoo does of maintaining these relationships.
Basically, the task-force report refutes every argument put forth for sending the elephants away. They are healthy (not just healthy enough). The claims of repetitive behaviors was addressed and discounted as being a problem with these elephants. The correct numbers for artificial insemination attempt with Chai were used, rather than inflated numbers. And when you mention the virus that killed Hansa, you make it sound like this is a zoo virus, rather than something carried by most elephants also in the wild. And, indeed, the veterinary research done on this virus in zoos has implications for all elephants, wherever they live.
Please stop this persecution of Chai, Bamboo and Watoto and be willing to read and acknowledge the task-force report. These elephants are loved, cared for excellently and home.