The Worst Zoo for Elephants

Elephants on Kasenyl Plains by Tobias Seiderer

In Defense of Animals has chosen the Oklahoma City Zoo as the worst zoo for elephants. Though there is no good zoo for any animal and certainly not elephants.

Yet this is where the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle decided to send its remaining elephants, Bamboo and Chai, when public pressure forced the zoo to close its elephant exhibition. This despite that the mayor, city council and citizens urged the zoo to place these elephants in an accredited sanctuary.

Chai died only eight months after arriving at OKC Zoo. According to Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, “She wasted away, rapidly losing 1,000 pounds, and suffered from an infection in her bloodstream likely caused by 25 puss-filled abscesses—all of which went untreated.

“Now Bamboo, languishes at OKC Zoo, an aggressor and victim. The other elephants at the zoo have repeatedly attacked Bamboo, injuring various parts of her body including her trunk and one of the bites amputated the end of her tail.” Alyne Fortgang, co-founder of Friends, adds, “Trapped within a cramped hot-wired yard there is no ability to flee from an attack causing an unhealthy and dangerous situation….

“It is not too late for OKC Zoo to do the right thing by allowing [Bamboo] to heal and live in peace at an accredited elephant sanctuary.”