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IDA Urges San Antonio Zoo To Retire Elephant

March 12th, 2013 by Nicole Meyer

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Following Elephant Death, In Defense Of Animals Urges San Antonio Zoo
To Retire Surviving Elephant And Close Elephant Exhibit

San Antonio, Texas (March 12, 2013) – Following the death of the elephant Queenie, In Defense of Animals (IDA), an international animal protection organization with more than 100,000 supporters, is calling on the San Antonio Zoo to retire the one surviving elephant at the zoo, and permanently close its elephant exhibit.

The zoo euthanized Queenie on Sunday, reportedly due to a health problem. This leaves Lucky, a 53-year old female Asian elephant, alone once again. Lucky had lived alone prior to Queenie’s arrival, following the death of another elephant.

IDA worked for years to rescue Queenie (aka Boo) from a circus. Her plight struck an emotional chord with IDA supporters, who sent more than 40,000 faxes and emails on her behalf to various government agencies. In 2009, the USDA finally filed charges against Queenie’s handler for multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. But instead of retiring Queenie to a sanctuary as IDA requested, the USDA ignored Queenie’s welfare and struck a deal with her handler and the San Antonio Zoo, condemning the two elephants to a life of misery and deprivation in the zoo’s archaic exhibit.

At the time, IDA warned of potential compatibility issues between Queenie and Lucky, which ultimately led to intense stress and aggression between the elephants in the zoo’s cramped exhibit. IDA also warned that the zoo would likely find itself in the same position as it is now—with a solitary elephant—when one of the elephants dies. The zoo has disregarded previous calls to send Lucky to a sanctuary and she is once again without companions, which is cruel for female elephants who are profoundly social.

“Queenie’s last few years at the San Antonio Zoo were needlessly tragic and a direct result of the USDA’s inaction and the zoo’s selfish desire to exploit elephants,” said Nicole Meyer, Director of IDA’s Elephant Protection Campaign. “While it’s unfortunately too late for Queenie, Lucky has a chance for a better future. It’s time for the zoo to put its own interests aside and make the compassionate decision to close its elephant exhibit and retire Lucky to a spacious, natural-habitat environment where she can live her remaining years in the company of other elephants.”

IDA’s letter to the San Antonio Zoo, copied to Mayor Julián Castro, is available upon request.

To learn how you can help Lucky, please click here.

159 Responses to “IDA Urges San Antonio Zoo To Retire Elephant”

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  6. August 10, 2013 at 7:36 pm, Fredia Anagnost said:

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  7. April 15, 2013 at 3:22 am, Lamont Thornock said:

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  8. March 16, 2013 at 4:20 pm, Carol Crunkhorn said:

    What is needed in the U.S. is a Federal law that forbids the exploitation of wild (exotic) animals in all areas of entertainment. The reason there are so many backward looking practices regarding animals is simply because each state is allowed too much freedom. All we hear about is “it’s in the constitution, it’s our right” sort of nonsense. No law anywhere in the world is unchangeable. Even countries that have a poor record of animal welfare, such as Bolivia (the first in the world to ban wild animals in circuses), Greece, Slovenia, all forbid the use of wild animals in circuses. San Antonio zoo is just a circus, exploiting beautiful creatures like elephants for monetary gain. There is absolutely no value in allowing children to see magnificent wild creatures in captivity, all it is teaching them is that humans can be extremely insensitive where animals are concerned. San Antonio Zoo and Mayor Julian Castro should have no say in the fate of Lucky, the federal government should step in. This kind of cruel confinement of wild animals is bringing the U.S.A into disrepute.

    Reply

  9. March 12, 2013 at 6:24 pm, angela said:

    this is no way for an animal of such power and grace to be treated. Please retire these animals and allow it some joy.

    Reply

  10. March 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm, debbie lane said:

    hey greed is a sin and this is why you have this elephant anyway . MONEY!!!!! that is what it all about. but i got news for you,
    sin is what you really are doing and that money will not help you to buy your way out of hell!!

    Reply

  11. March 12, 2013 at 2:58 pm, Sue Foster-collins said:

    Another Zoo that puts profits before animals, they should be shut down permanantly! Why do people visit these places, they are contributing towards the ill treatment of animals by spending money and keeping these zoo’s going!

    Reply

  12. March 12, 2013 at 1:46 pm, Rebecca Puckett said:

    People wake up!!! Send Lucky to a sanctuary and let her live out her remaining time in peace!

    Reply

  13. March 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm, Stephanie Rackley Vitt said:

    Please keep the welfare of Lucky in mind. Let her live out her days in tranquil beauty. PLEASE PLEASE don’t let her last years on this planet be alone in your zoo. Send her to live out her life in Tennessee.

    Reply

  14. March 12, 2013 at 10:48 am, carol thompson said:

    its time to think of the elephant..please dont let her have to spend what should be her golden years without any family..let her feel the security of a herd and let her know a family for once in her life since she was stolen from hers

    Reply

  15. March 12, 2013 at 9:20 am, Melanie Brown said:

    SHAME ON YOU SAN ANTONIO ZOO. I can only pray that all you allowing this suffering the same compassion is returned upon you. Amen

    Reply

  16. March 12, 2013 at 8:54 am, patsy bazemore said:

    You people at the zoo know better! That should suffice

    Reply

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