June 16th, 2010 by Nicole Meyer
The International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos (IDAEZ) takes place this Saturday, with more than 30 events in five countries. You can help the elephants, even if you don’t live near a zoo, by sending a message that the USDA must put animal welfare over zoos’ interests.
The first step is to ensure the USDA is held accountable for its actions in sending Queenie to the San Antonio Zoo, which does not have the space needed to properly care for elephants. If you’ve been following this elephant’s tragic story on www.HelpElephants.com and this blog, you know that IDA has been fighting for Queenie for the last three years, and that we’re not giving up the battle for her life. Thanks to the thousands of you who have called and written so many times on her behalf, hope remains alive.
But it’s time to use our voices again for Queenie, who is the victim of an apparently all-too-cozy relationship between the USDA and the zoo and circus industries.
Consider the facts: After multiple violations of federal animal welfare law; having two elephants, Tina and Jewel, seized because they were in grave condition; and after having federal charges pressed against him, Queenie’s former circus trainer, Will Davenport, ended up $20,000 richer and paid no fines! That’s just not right.
Yes, we wanted Queenie freed from her misery, but the USDA failed in its mandate to protect animal welfare by directing her to the wrong place. An elephant who has suffered abuse and neglect for more than 50 years, purely for the sake of public display, should have been sent to the peace and solitude of a natural-habitat elephant sanctuary, where she could get the special rehabilitative care she needs.
At a time when the American public is fed up with the lax oversight of federal agencies that are far too enmeshed with the industries they’re meant to regulate, we need to speak out and demand justice for Queenie.
You can take action now. Send a quick message to your elected members of Congress by clicking here.
Stay tuned this week for information on more ways you can help elephants even if you don’t live near a zoo with an IDAEZ event on Saturday, including a secret action to be announced later this week.