Free Packy the Elephant!
IDA’s #7 Worst Zoo for Elephants: Oregon Zoo in Portland, Oregon
Packy the elephant was born at the Oregon Zoo in 1962 and has lived in a small, cramped enclosure for nearly of all of his 54 years. In all his life, Packy has never had the opportunity to walk on grass, forage on trees, or choose his friends – as wild elephants are free to do.
For most of his life, Packy has lived isolated from the zoo’s collection of what is currently six elephants. Being a male, Packy sometimes exhibits assertive behavior, especially when in “musth,” a hormone surge, sometimes lasting for months, that sends bull elephants’ mating instincts into overdrive.
Taxpayer money has been used by the Zoo to update the elephant exhibit, and although it has given Packy a little more room to move, the exhibit is still woefully inadequate. The “improvements” mostly benefit visitors, not the elephants.
In 2013, Packy contracted tuberculosis. His son Rama also contracted the disease, as did Tusko, another bull who was brought in to the zoo in 2005 on a breeding “loan.” Currently, Packy is on another round of TB medication that will continue to keep him further isolated from the herd.