September 14th, 2010 by Nicole Meyer
In light of the alarming news that Dondi, an elephant who gave rides at the Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, Mass., died from tuberculosis, IDA sent an urgent letter to the zoo, demanding the immediate release of her report. According to an article that ran in the Shoreline Times (New Haven, Conn.) on Friday, a necropsy revealed that Asian elephant Dondi died from tuberculosis. While the reporter would not reveal his source, he claimed that the source had the necropsy results in hand.
Tuberculosis in elephants presents a serious public health concern as the animals can transmit the disease to humans as well as other elephants. Unfortunately, tuberculosis is difficult to detect in elephants, who can harbor the disease, sometimes for years, and show no clinical symptoms. The USDA is still working to determine how widespread tuberculosis is amongst elephants in the U.S.
Dondi was the second elephant held at the Southwick’s Zoo who had tuberculosis. Before her, Southwick’s used an elephant named Judy, who was not allowed to give rides due to known prior exposure to tuberculosis positive elephants. After her death in 2007, she was found to have the disease.
Please join IDA in calling on the zoo to end the use of elephants for shows and rides by sending a polite email to the Southwick’s Zoo President Justin Brewer. You can use the sample message that follows, but please be sure to personalize it as much as possible.
Dear Ms. Brewer,
I urge you to permanently end the use of elephants for performances and rides at the Southwick’s Zoo because it is inhumane for the elephants and unsafe for the public. Your zoo has held two elephants with tuberculosis, which is a serious public health concern as the disease can be transmitted to humans and other elephants. It’s time to do the right thing for the elephants and for the public and stop displaying elephants at your zoo.
Send your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell USDA to Confiscate Nosey Now
While you’re taking action, please don’t forget Nosey, who needs your help. You can read more about Nosey, link to videos, and take quick and easy action for this suffering elephant by clicking here.