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Please Help Surviving Elephant at Little Rock Zoo

September 18th, 2013 by Nicole Meyer

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Please Help Surviving Elephant at Little Rock Zoo

In Defense of AnimalsJewell, a 62-year-old elephant, recently died at the Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas. According to media reports, Jewell was euthanized after zoo staff found her lying on her side the morning of September 8th, struggling to rise. Jewell had a lengthy history of medical problems and was diagnosed with arthritis as early as 1991. IDA has filed a complaint with the USDA, asking the agency to investigate the circumstances surrounding Jewell’s death, and the fact that an elephant known to be chronically ill with potentially life-threatening conditions was apparently unmonitored throughout the night.

Jewell’s death leaves her companion, Zina, alone at the zoo. IDA has grave concerns for Zina, who is 52 and also has a lengthy history of chronic health problems, including foot problems and arthritis—among the leading causes of death of captive elephants. IDA is urging the Little Rock Zoo to retire Zina to a sanctuary and to close its elephant exhibit for good. We’re also asking the zoo to ensure that Zina is observed on a round-the-clock basis while she remains at the zoo, so she is not at risk of becoming critically ill without the possibility of immediate medical intervention.

Please take a moment to write brief, polite letters to the director of the Little Rock Zoo, Mayor Mark Stodola, and the Little Rock Board of Directors. Please ask that the zoo retires Zina to a spacious, natural habitat elephant sanctuary, where she would be provided with 24-hour veterinary care, have room to roam, and also benefit from the company of other elephants for the duration of her life. Please also urge the zoo to close its elephant exhibit for good.

Mike Blakely, Little Rock Zoo Director: mblakely@littlerock.org
Mayor Mark Stodola: mayor@littlerock.org
Little Rock Board of Directors: board@littlerock.org

Read IDA’s press release and USDA complaint.

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