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USDA Sends Queenie To San Antonio Zoo
Despite our repeated efforts and negotiations to bring Queenie to ARK 2000, the US Department of Agriculture forced an agreement between Will Davenport and the San Antonio Zoo that will send Queenie to live in a pitifully small enclosure with only one other elephant.
At ARK 2000, Queenie could have shared a fifty acre area with four Asian females and one Asian bull. PAWS directors, Pat Derby & Ed Stewart, and staff have over fifty years experience socializing elephants and have integrated many African and Asian elephants into social groups. Our 20,000 sq. ft. Asian elephant barn allows easy access for elephants to touch and explore new companions safely with separate stalls for escape of hesitant individuals and separate, smaller yards for further socialization of new arrivals.
The San Antonio Zoo's tiny yard and cramped barn is smaller than our Asian barn and there is little, if any, opportunity for introductions. Queenie's new companion ,Lucky, is not a highly social elephant because of her limited space and deprived history. Lucky should have been relocated to another facility with larger yards and barns and a functioning group of elephants. The zoo's reluctance to provide her with a better quality of life and their cavalier attitude in taking Queenie with no concise plan for the future of the two elephants is
indicative of the prevailing malaise at this small and poorly equipped facility.
Under constant political pressure from the American Zoo Association (AZA), the USDA has been lobbied to send confiscated circus elephants only to AZA accredited facilities despite space limitation and other inadequacies.
Although PAWS supported the relocation of Tina & Jewel to San Diego Zoo, we are opposed to this recent transfer of Queenie who is healthy and would have survived a longer trip with no problems and a much better future.
We urge Queenie's loyal fans and supporters to write to:
Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsak
The phone number is 202-720-3631
Fax is 202-720- 2166
Mr. Tom Vilsack
Tell Secretary Vilsak :
1. Confiscated elephants should not be placed back into the stress of public exhibition, in
confined spaces with little social stimulation and limited access to a natural
2. AZA and most individual zoos have never assisted in monitoring substandard circuses. They have no written policy on the use & care of elephants in circuses, and they have done
nothing to prevent the tragic circumstances that preclude confiscation.
3. Animal welfare organizations and individuals have invested time and money into the
monitoring of abusive conditions in circuses and, often, through their lobbying and
intervention, have saved elephants like Tina & Jewel. They should have a voice in the
critical issue of placement of confiscated animals.
4. Sanctuaries exist to care for abandoned, abused and retired elephants. They do not use
sanctuary animals for public display or any form of exhibition or promotion. Elephants
who are sent to a sanctuary enjoy a stable existence for the rest of their lives. Zoos
consistently trade, relocate and loan elephants to other zoos, often severing important
social bonds among elephants and their offspring.
5. Criteria should be developed for the placement of confiscated elephants, and animal
welfare groups and sanctuaries should be included in the discussion.
Whenever possible, please send copies of your letters to PAWS.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!
(209) 745-2606 office/shelter
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