Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Elephants, Part Two

(From Me)

Hello. My name is Matthew Jent and I am a writer living in Chicago. I have recently heard that two of the four elephants you have at the San Francisco Zoo have died, one being euthanized due to chronic colic, arthritis and foot and bone infections, the other from a "sickness" I do not the origin of. I understand that the first was 37 years old, the second 44 years old. I also understand you have two remaining elephants in your care, and that sanctuaries have offered to take them into their care so that they might live in a more natural environment that is conducive to their physical and mental health. I understand that the San Francisco Zoo has yet to take action on these offers.

Did you know that the Detroit Zoo recently announced that they would no longer be exhibiting elephants? They have done this because, despite the fact that elephants are a mainstay at American zoos, it has been
proven time and again that elephants in captivity suffer much shorter lifespans than do elephants in the wild, and that while they are alive they suffer from a number of physical and emotional ailments. I am curious, as I'm sure many people are curious, why you continue to exhibit elephants in your zoo.

I know that you care about animals, and that's why you are in the business you are in. That's why I'm writing to ask that you do the right thing for these elephants and put them in an environment they can thrive in.

Thank you for your time. If I have sent this email to the wrong department in error, could you please forward it to the proper department? I would greatly appreciate it.

Matthew Jent

(From Cindy Cameron of the San Francisco Zoo)

Matthew, thank you for caring enough to write. The decision has beenmade to send our remaining two elephants to a sanctuary. We're not sure which ones yet, but we have started the "crate" training for our elephants to help make the move smoothly and with the least amount of stress to them. After all, they have been here most all of their lives.

Thank you for your interest in the San Francisco Zoo.

Cindy Cameron
Docent Coordinator, Education Department
San Francisco Zoo

(Send her a note telling her how rad she is)

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