Honor Packy and Other Animals Needlessly Killed by Zoos on World Zoothanasia Day
54-year-old Packy the elephant was killed by the Oregon Zoo last February. In Defense of Animals and Dr. Marc Bekoff* declared Packy’s death day as World Zoothanasia Day in his honor, and also for the many other animals who are killed by zoos each year because they are considered to be surplus- given no more consideration than unwanted merchandise. We hope to bring attention to this horrific practice. Though Packy was killed on February 9, we are scheduling this public event in Portland for Saturday the 10th, so that more people will be able to attend.
*Professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Packy was born at Oregon Zoo in 1962. In his lifetime, he sired seven calves, and the Zoo profited off of his life for all of his 54 years. His most recent diagnosis of active and drug-resistant tuberculosis was deemed incurable, yet it was reported that he showed no signs of suffering from the disease itself, with no signs of pain or discomfort. According to Zoo reports, he was, “active, playful and engaged with keeper staff every day.” Despite these clear signs of his well-being, his condition required intense care, attention and expense on the part of the Zoo.
The dark secret is that zoos have limited room, and limited budgets, for their animals. Old or ill animals are not good for business. They are considered to be taking up space that could be given to younger, reproductively active animals who can breed and keep ticket sales coming in. This cold, hard fact is summed up by a comment reportedly made by a member of the Oregon Zoo staff in a meeting, "How much is a 54 year old bull worth compared to a four-year-old reproductive calf?"
On February 9, the day Packy was killed, our Elephant Scientist, Dr. Toni Frohoff, stated, “Members of the public are horrified when they learn of the unjustifiable zoo murders of animals when they are deemed ‘surplus’ or no longer wanted. We are declaring this the first World Zoothanasia Day, in honor of Packy and the countless other victims who are killed by zoos.”
If you are not able to attend the local event, please join us in taking a minute of silence to honor Packy’s life, as well as all of the other animals whose lives are taken from them unfairly and unnecessarily while the zoo industry continues to profit.
This event is sponsored by In Defense of Animals in partnership with Free the Oregon Zoo Elephants and Portland Animal Save.
What: First Annual World Zoothanasia Day Demonstration - Honoring Packy the Elephant and Other Animals Needlessly Killed in Zoos
When: Saturday, February 10, 2018 @ 12:00pm- 2:00pm
Where: Oregon Zoo 4001 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, Oregon 97221
We will meet in the front of the Zoo, near the entrance gate. There is parking available, but we suggest taking MAX as it goes right to the Zoo.