Your Sept. 16 editorial, "The Elephant in the Room" asks a number of questions except for what should be the most important one: What's best for the elephants? If the Niabi Zoo can't meet American Zoological Association standards, which can hardly be described as coming close to meeting the needs of elephants, the zoo shouldn't have elephants at all.

But, as usual, what's best for the elephants gets lost in zoo/AZA politics. Forget the politics and think about the elephants!

Amy Mayers

Washington D.C.

(1) comment


I too am writing on behalf of the elephants, Sophie and Babe, that reside at the Niabi Zoo.
Their life in that zoo has been a sad one.
The life they lead before coming to that zoo makes their story all the more heartbreaking.
I've known Sophie and Babe since 1981 when we were all a part of Ringling Brother's Barnum and Bailey Circus (of horrors).
Beaten bloody on a daily basis, made to stand still, chained tightly along side 16 other torured elephants, day in, day out on cold, concrete floors.
Because elephants are migratory and MUST walk to digest their food, keep arthritis at bay, foot infections from setting in, etc...none of the elephants were healthy..or happy.
Bath time for a captive elephant is also of great importance to their health yet, in the cicus, a quick hose down was all they recieved so skin infections were rampant.
Moving from town to town, crammed into a train car, no water, constant change of climate also made for very sick elephants.
The USDA has violated and fined this circus over and over again ...still...on it goes.
Now, when Sophie and Babe became too sick and arthritic to be of any use to Ringling...they were sent off to this small zoo where they've become sicker and sadder...and have tested postive for EEHV, which is a highly fatal disease that is seriously impacting Asian elephants in captivity.
So here they are, taken out of the wilds of India, sold into a life of slavery...first with the circus, now at a zoo who's conditions are so poor they have lost their AZA accreditation.
Please do not let the politics involved prevail...they've been through enough. Paid dues that should have never been in the first place.
The only issue anyone should take into consideration is the welfare of these two sweet souls.
From the recent pictures I've seen...souls that are so broken, I barely recognize them.
To the editor and reporter that took the time to speak with me....Thank you.
To anyone who reads this...please help.
Brightest Blessings,
Jodey Eliseo

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