Re: “Send elephants to Tennessee sanctuary” (letter, 3-5).
I do not choose to enter the emotionally charged debate regarding the suitability of the elephant sanctuary in Tennessee for the two remaining female elephants at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. However, I am greatly disturbed by the characterization of their treatment at our local award-winning zoological institution as being "controlled by fear and intimidation.”
I have had close affiliation with the zoo for more than 15 years and had many opportunities to discuss animal care (including the elephants) with the zoo’s management team and staff biologists. This included behind-the-scenes observation of the care received by the elephants and other species at the site. The concepts of fear and intimidation are complete anathema at the zoo.
I therefore challenge the author of the previous letter to produce real evidence of the use of fear and intimidation by the zoo staff against any of the animals. Until real evidence is produced, I will assert that the use of fear and intimidation appears to come primarily from people making public emotional pleas laced with unfounded accusations.