May 3rd, 2013 by Nicole Meyer
In Defense Of Animals To Protest Elephant Treatment At San Antonio Zoo
San Antonio, Texas (May 2, 2013) – In Defense of Animals (IDA), an international animal protection organization, and One World Conservation, a Texas-based organization, are joining forces on Saturday, May 4, to speak up for an elephant named Lucky at the San Antonio Zoo.
The San Antonio Zoo announced last week its cruel decision to keep Lucky—a 53-year-old female Asian elephant—alone, following the recent death of another elephant, Queenie. IDA is urging the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), a trade-industry organization, to deny the San Antonio Zoo’s request for a variance to keep Lucky in isolation, and to instead work with the zoo to relocate Lucky to a facility that can offer her companionship with other elephants and adequate space.
San Antonio citizens and people across the country are showing overwhelming support for Lucky. A petition also urging the AZA to do the right thing has racked up more than 4,000 signatures in just a few days. This Saturday, demonstrators will be on the ground carrying signs that read “Elephants Need Other Elephants” and “Lucky Deserves Better.”
What: Demonstration for Lucky
When: Saturday, May 4, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: The San Antonio Zoo, 3903 N. St Mary’s St., San Antonio, TX 78212
The zoo’s request to keep Lucky by herself, if approved, would bypass the AZA’s requirement that elephants in zoos should be kept in groups of three. The last time the zoo requested a variance, Lucky was housed in solitary confinement for nearly three years. The AZA states in its guidelines it will not grant variances after September 2016.
“The San Antonio Zoo is yet again digging in its heels at Lucky’s expense,” said Nicole Meyer, Director of IDA’s Elephant Protection Campaign. “The zoo is willfully ignoring the well known fact that female elephants are profoundly social. Since her arrival at the San Antonio Zoo, Lucky has witnessed at least five other elephants die. The novelty of seeing an elephant in a zoo does not justify subjecting Lucky to further trauma by keeping her in isolation.”
The San Antonio Zoo has long been a focus of IDA for its grossly inadequate elephant exhibit and for cramming Earth’s largest land mammals into a space smaller than many backyards. At a meager half acre, the zoo’s cramped and unnatural enclosure fails to meet an elephant’s most basic needs, including space to roam, mental stimulation, and social companions.