Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Group in Seattle Makes Reasonable Request to Have the Woodland Park Zoo Retire and Send to Sanctuary the 39-Year-Old Asian Elephant Bamboo

This simply makes sense. The Woodland Park Zoo has already proven that it has serious care issues. Bamboo has served her time. The following quote succinctly sums up what is just reasonable and logical:

"We would like Bamboo to spend her golden years in a sanctuary where she has 24-hour access to ponds, fields and the ability to roam freely," Fortgang said. "That is 2,200 acres as opposed to sharing 1 acre with three other elephants at the Woodland Park Zoo."

Article:


Protesters push for retirement in Bamboo's 'golden years'
Animal rights activists target zoo fundraiser

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/277724_elephant16.html

By MARY ANDOM
P-I REPORTER

About 80 animal rights activists and community members protested outside a Woodland Park Zoo fundraiser Friday, asking that the 39-year-old Asian elephant Bamboo be moved to an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee.

Protesters young and old stood at the north entrance of the zoo, passing out fliers to donors, holding signs and chanting, "Tell the zoo, to free Bamboo."

The zoo, which closed to the public at 3 p.m. for Woodland Park's largest fundraiser of the year, became the site for protesters to inform the more than 900 guests about Bamboo's plight. Seattle police bike patrols were on the scene to ensure that the rally was peaceful.

In June 2006, the Northwest Animal Rights Network filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court accusing the zoo of failing to provide Bamboo space for roaming, foraging and bonding with other elephants.

Jay Fortgang, media coordinator for the Free Bamboo campaign, said that Bamboo has outlived her years in captivity and that she should spend her remaining years in an elephant-friendly environment.

"We would like Bamboo to spend her golden years in a sanctuary where she has 24-hour access to ponds, fields and the ability to roam freely," Fortgang said. "That is 2,200 acres as opposed to sharing 1 acre with three other elephants at the Woodland Park Zoo."

Jim Bennett, communications and marketing director of Woodland Park Zoo, handed out free passes to "Free Bamboo" supporters urging them to visit the exhibit and talk to Bamboo's keepers.

"We care deeply about the animals and so do they," Bennett said. "The zoo is really the best place for Bamboo; she has bonded really well to humans, more so than your average elephant perhaps."

Fortgang, however, said the grass-roots movement to free Bamboo is going strong with supporters growing by the thousands. He said in the end Seattleites should determine the fate of Bamboo.

"The people of Seattle have spoken. I think it is the zoo's responsibility to listen to what Seattle residents have said," Fortgang said. "We will continue protests, legal maneuvers, anything necessary so Bamboo can gain her freedom."

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