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PAWS Will Be Watching Billy

(Galt, CA) With construction jobs on the line, today’s decision by Los Angeles City Council to continue to fund the exhibit for Billy, the bull elephant at the LA Zoo, was not unexpected; however the unnecessary vilification of the PAWS Sanctuary and the numerous blatant false statements made by zoo personnel and supporters about our elephant program far exceeded even our lowest expectations.

PAWS is not the reason for problems at the Los Angeles Zoo.

The LA City Council has voted to entrust the future for the elephant squarely on the back of their zoo which has one of the worst track records in the country.

Instead of listening to a legion of world elephant experts with hundreds of years of combined experience and expertise, 11 Councilmembers of the City of Los Angeles decided that they would, instead, cling to the vague promises of the LA Zoo authorities that their controversial and meager 6 acre Pachyderm Forest (now to be completed at a cost of a staggering $42 million) would provide a ‘world-class solution’ for Bill, the zoo’s solitary male Asian elephant and others the zoo now hopes to acquire.

“Only time will prove whether the Council’s decision and the claims of the Zoo Authorities are correct. However, if they think that the spotlight will now turn elsewhere, they are wrong. If anything scrutiny will now intensify and it is entirely justifiable for those who have campaigned with logic, science, experience and compassion to have the elephant enclosure closed down - and Billy sent to the PAWS Elephant Sanctuary in San Andreas - to hold the Council and Zoo personally responsible for Billy’s physical and mental well-being, what happens to future elephants that may be brought in, and what they have decided to do with such a huge, some say obscene, amount of money.” - Will Travers, CEO of Born Free USA.

PAWS will closely monitor the huge expenditure of public funds for Billy. We fully expect that Billy will receive round-the-clock care for that enormous expense with keepers and veterinarians to assist him at all times should problems arise during the night.

Unfortunately, despite the professed superior care at the zoo, Gita, Tarra and numerous other elephants derived little benefit from their expertise.

We sincerely hope, for Billy's sake, that the LA Zoo will utilize their broad base of professionals and create an elephant habitat that reflects their promises.

PAWS and everyone who believes that Billy deserves much better care than he is receiving now will be watching.


Performing Animal Welfare Society
PO Box 849, Galt, CA 95632

(209) 745-2606 office/shelter
(209) 745-1809 fax

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