Saturday: Protests Against Needless Animal Killing by Zoos - World Zoothanasia Day 2019

Saturday: Protests Against Needless Animal Killing by Zoos - World Zoothanasia Day 2019


All Zoos: Laura Bridgeman,, 510-424-4085

Oregon Zoo: Fleur Dawes,, 415-879-6879





LOS ANGELES, PORTLAND, EDMONTON CA (Feb 9, 2019) - Animal advocates across North America are uniting on World Zoothanasia Day, Saturday, February 9, to protest needless animal killings by zoos.

Concerned people will join demonstrations at zoos in Los Angeles, Portland, and Edmonton, Canada to observe a minute of silence to commemorate the lives that have been, and continue to be lost to the standard zoo industry practice of killing unwanted animals.

World Zoothanasia Day was declared by In Defense of Animals and Dr. Marc Bekoff, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2017 in response to the death of Packy, a 54-year-old elephant who was killed by the Oregon Zoo despite an apparent lack of observable suffering.

Coined by Dr. Bekoff, the term “zoothanasia” refers to the controversial practice of killing animals who are considered surplus to zoo populations and breeding programs, due to age or genetics.

Decisions to zoothanize animals are generally taken with an eye toward profits: zoos are businesses that rely on continued breeding of baby animals for the purpose of selling tickets to their facilities. Baby animals draw larger crowds, making them more financially valuable than older, yet otherwise healthy individuals.

The motivations behind zoothanasia are summed up in the now-infamous statement by one Oregon Zoo staffer referring to Packy: "How much is a 54-year-old bull worth compared to a four-year-old reproductive calf?"

“Zoos should not be allowed to decide who lives and who dies based on perceived monetary value,” says Fleur Dawes of In Defense of Animals. “Concerned members of the public are standing vigil with us to shine a light on the horrific practice of zoothanasia that happens behind closed doors at zoos. Zoos are motivated to keep people largely unaware that, when they pay to visit zoos, their tickets are supporting these types of needless killings.”

Free the Oregon Zoo Elephants, along with In Defense of Animals and Portland Animal Save, is holding a demonstration at the Oregon Zoo, where Packy the elephant was zoothanized on February 9, 2017. Elephant Guardians of Los Angeles will be honoring Packy with a demonstration at the Los Angeles Zoo, and Lucy’s Edmonton Advocates Project will have a presence at the Edmonton Valley Zoo in Canada.

All three zoos have repeatedly appeared on In Defense of Animals’ list of the 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants:

People everywhere are asked to observe a moment of silence at 12 pm PST on February 9 in observance of the lives that have been and will continue to be lost to needless killing at zoos.

Saturday, February 9th:


Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, Oregon 97221

Saturday at 12 PM – 2 PM

Hosted by: Free the Oregon Zoo Elephants, In Defense of Animals, Portland Animal Save

Oregon Zoo demonstration details: events/312691376042642/? active_tab=discussion


Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, 5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, California 90027

Saturday at 10 AM – 12 PM

Hosted by: Elephant Guardians of Los Angeles, Los Angeles for Animals

Los Angeles Zoo demonstration details: events/410264046434390/


### ENDS ###


In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 30-year history of fighting for animals, people and the environment through education, campaigns and hands-on rescue facilities in India, Africa, and rural Mississippi.


IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS • 3010 KERNER BLVD. • SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 • 415-448-0048

You can support this campaign with our shop

Animals Suffer in Circuses Leaflet - Set of 300
Ban All Trade In Ivory-Save Elephants T-shirt Women's
Ban All Trade In Ivory-Save Elephants T-shirt Unisex
Animals Suffer in Circuses (New!)
Help Elephants Sticker
Elephants Suffer in Circuses (poster -Spanish)