Toronto Zoo Elephants In Trouble
The Toronto Zoo Elephants are in trouble
Perhaps you missed it in the news but on the Friday 13th January 2012 the PAWS 'Sanctuary' in Northern California announced the death of 'Sabu', a 29 year old captive bred bull Asian elephant. A sad loss though some may see it as a peaceful release from pain as the unfortunate 'Sabu' had suffered from arthritis for some time. He was actually euthanized.
'Sabu' was born in Portland Zoo, sold to a circus at two years of age (something which would be frowned upon today) and eventually arrived at the California 'Sanctuary' in 2010.
It is known that 'Sabu' had tested positive for TB in 2000 though there was no mention of this as a contributory factor in the death. In fact the TB has not been mentioned at all. This is both as odd as it is disturbing because it is a Animal Welfare Act regulation that 'all captive elephants in the US are periodically tested for TB...and that all of those having close contact are tested on an annual basis'.
So was 'Sabu' cured? Did he no longer have TB?
The TB Question
It is to this same PAWS 'sanctuary' to which the Toronto City Councillors have decided to send the Toronto Zoo elephants.
The councillors took their decision behind closed doors without giving due consideration to the wishes of the Toronto Zoo staff who they fully knew were making their own plans. The councillors were seemingly swayed by the offer of 'free transport' to the so called 'sanctuary' as well as the opportunity to rub shoulders with well meaning though ill informed 'famous' people.
Were the councillors kept in the dark over the TB question? How open has this sanctuary been with its medical records? If it were an AZA approved collection (which it isn't) then these records would be available. It is to an approved AZA collection that the Toronto Zoo staff wanted to send the animals they loved and cared about. Now they have another nightmare of worry.
It is not too late for the councillors to change their minds, to turn down what amounts to a bribe, to see reason and listen to the people who really care about these animals.
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