Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Group Sues Woodland Park Zoo Over Treatment of Elephant Named Bamboo: Lawsuit Demands She Be Moved To Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee

This is an amazing legal tactic. Very sad to see that she has been in captivity since age 1 and that she hasn’t been accepted by any other elephant groups. The logical step would be to move her to the sanctuary.

Article:

Animal-rights group sues zoo over elephant
Bamboo should be sent to a sanctuary, plaintiffs say

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/272885_bamboo06.html

By KATHY MULADY
P-I REPORTER

Woodland Park Zoo has harmed a 39-year-old Asian elephant named Bamboo and should move her to an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee, an animal-rights group said in a lawsuit filed Monday.

In the King County Superior Court suit, the Northwest Animal Rights Network claims that the zoo has failed to provide Bamboo space for roaming, foraging and bonding with other elephants.

"We just received it, it is going to our legal counsel," Gigi Allianic, a zoo spokeswoman, said of the suit. "We can't discuss it right now."

Bamboo, who had lived at Woodland Park Zoo since her arrival from Thailand when she was a year old, was transferred last summer to Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma because she wasn't getting along with the other elephants at Woodland Park, especially Hansa, the 5-year-old elephant born there.

But zoo officials announced recently that Bamboo would be returning to Seattle soon because the other elephants in Tacoma haven't accepted her.

Animal-rights activists and two Seattle residents representing city taxpayers filed the lawsuit, saying it is time for Bamboo to move to the 2,700-acre sanctuary in Tennessee. The city owns the zoo grounds and buildings and provides financial support for the zoo.

The lawsuit also alleges that the zoo and the city have violated city, state and federal laws in their care of Bamboo.

Diana Kantor, a member of the animal-rights group, said they were hoping to persuade zoo and city leaders to move Bamboo to the sanctuary without filing a lawsuit.

"We worked hard for a resolution, but got nowhere with the zoo or city; finally, we had to take the next step," Kantor said.

In March, Woodland Park Deputy Director Bruce Bohmke said zoo officials were evaluating what to do in the long term with Bamboo. Alternatives included keeping her indefinitely at Woodland Park or moving her to a suitable zoo that would best serve her interests.

Bohmke said at the time that sending Bamboo to an elephant sanctuary was not an option. He said the sanctuary isn't appropriate for an elephant in the care of an accredited zoo at which conservation and education are key elements.

One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit is Sally Gannett, who as a youngster won a contest to name the elephant. "I feel responsible for Bamboo and want to help her get to the better life that she deserves," Gannett said.

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