Zoo on Trial

Full story: Daily Breeze
Asian elephant Billy is the only elephant at the L.A. Zoo at this time. At the heart of the Los Angeles Zoo, at the center of one the city's priciest controversies, stands what may be the world's largest shower. Read more
Brentwoodmom

Alamo, CA

#3 Nov 2, 2009
Can you imagine the zoo wastes $47 MILLION dollars on ONE exhibit to house a few animals and then states "the L.A. Zoo will house a kiosk to elicit funds to help Asian elephants around the world." Geez, imagine that kiosk will NEVER raise even close to $1million to help tens of thousands of elephants in the wild. What a waste of money. LA City Council should be ashamed of approving this blatant waste of money.
Eden Courtney

Albuquerque, NM

#4 Nov 2, 2009
So Billy "wants a couple of girls"? Billy will never naturally mate with any female elephants the zoo acquires. Billy's role will be to be in the background while he is milked endlessly for his semen. Do some fact checking on what the procedure for milking semen from a male elephant entails. As he must be in musth to produce semen, he will be aggressive and unpredictable and, therefore, will have to be kept isolated while they "milk" him. Then, google the procedure for artificial insemination of female elephants. That is the life that Billy and any females will lead. If, through this extremely unnatural process, any pregnancy should result, the calves may be stillborn, they may die in utero and never be expelled or the inexperienced mother may reject the calf. Breeding elephants in captivity is rarely successful, but when it is successful, boy does it ever bring in the paying customers. As far as what is adequate space for elephants, the AZA standards are a joke.
Marguerite B

Lynnwood, WA

#5 Nov 2, 2009
John Lewis points to a row of bamboo and says "This could be Southeast Asia..." Is he kidding? How can 3.5 acres be enough space for multiple elephants? Kaplan is right. This is insane. Send Bill to the PAWS Ark2000 Sanctuary and devote this space to other zoo animals that are also living in small deprived exhibits. It's clear that Tom LeBonge and John Lewis have no regard or respect for the largest land mammal.
Richie

AOL

#6 Nov 3, 2009
If this goes through and elephants are bred in this exhibit, will the mothers be allowed to keep their calves like wild elephants do? Elephants keep their female offspring all their lives and the males until close to puberty. What has happened in the recent past, in too many zoo and circus births, is that the calves are cruelly torn from their mother's side when they are very young and used for other zoos or as circus performers. If this goes through then captive herds with real elephant behavior should be established, otherwise it is cruel.
Eden Courtney

Albuquerque, NM

#7 Nov 3, 2009
Richie, good question. However, as I said, with the confusing, painful, degrading artificial extraction of Billy's semen and the insemination of the female, there is not going to be anything like "real elephant behaviour". Most females when they give birth, because they have lived in captivity since they were torn from the wild, have no idea what is happening. Just recently a new mother accidently gored and killed her newborn calf trying to get it to stand because she had no experience and didn't know what to do. That is if the baby even survives the pregnancy. Many captive bred elephants miscarry or produce stillborn calves. This is not going to do anything for conservation and the real reason for this degradation and anguish is to produce those "oh so cute" baby elephants to bring in the misguided paying customers.

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