Billy the elephant
Photo credit: mstickmanp
The Los Angeles Zoo is currently battling for the right to keep Billy the Asian elephant and place him in a new 6-acre habitat they have been building over the past couple years. The zoo had earned the right to build the new facility 2 years ago by a 13 to 2 vote by the City Council. Recently however, a small group has stepped in claiming that Billy would be much better off at the PAWS ranch style sanctuary, located in Northern California.The exhibit is already 30 percent complete as the council is once again being put to the question on whether Billy should be allowed to stay or go. "Now that we are 30% complete, we have been stopped again as the City Council re-evaluates the financial and humane impact of housing elephants at the Zoo," says Michelle Mesrobian, Research Manager of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association."We're confident that when people take the time to really learn the facts about our Zoo and our commitment to Billy and his species, that they will see eye to eye with us and our supporters."
The LA Zoo Urges the Support of Treehugger
The LA Zoo urges its patrons to understand that their ability to care for Billy goes beyond the capacity of many sanctuaries. They offer the top medical care, 24-hour supervision, and companionship for these gentle giants. They remind us that elephants in zoo's live as long as elephants in protected areas in the wild. They also remind us about the right of our children and their own children to experience the wonders of these animals through their own eyes.
There are only a few weeks left until the committee meets again to decide on Billy's fate and they have asked for the help of us Treehuggers to aid in urging the city council to approve of the habitat and allow the zoo to keep Billy. Once the project is complete, it will become one of the biggest elephant exhibits in the US. You can show your support for the LA Zoo by contacting the members of the City Council and inform them of your support the Pachyderm Forest. You can find a sample letter and list of addresses and phone numbers on Billy's Home Page.
"We have to remember that we are fighting against people who would rather see animals die in the wild than be protected, nurtured and saved from extinction," says Michelle. "The California Condor is a great example—At the time there were only 22 birds left in the world, they said, let them die. Many people didn't feel that way, thank goodness, and now thanks to an amazing collaborative effort, there are over 300 Condors in the wild and captivity."
Slash jams for Billy the Elephant
Truth About Elephants@LAZoo #1
Truth About Elephants@LAZoo #2
Truth About Elephants@LAZoo #3
Truth About Elephants@LAZoo #4
More Articles on Billy and the LA Zoo
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The Myth of the Wild