Now that the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle is planning to close its elephant exhibit and transfer its elephants to a larger zoo in Oklahoma, why doesn’t the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium do one better and send the two remaining elephants to the elephant sanctuary in Tennessee now before one of them dies?
This 2,700-acre site has been operating for more than 20 years, providing a forever home to circus and zoo elephants. Many were unhealthy and depressed, have been abused or were deemed dangerous. At the sanctuary, they thrive, joining herds and living the remainder of their lives with all the social structures and physical exercise that elephants need.
Having spent time in an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, I know firsthand what giving elephants their freedom does for their physical and mental well-being. The elephants at the Tacoma zoo live in a steel pen, controlled by fear and intimidation and in a climate where no elephant should have to live.
The sanctuary’s mission is to let the elephants live with the freedom they deserve, and they are not used to make money for anyone or any zoo. In my opinion, keeping the elephants here is nothing more than animal cruelty.