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Send a Valentine for the Elephants

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In Defense of Animals

Have a Heart, Send Bamboo and Chai to a Sanctuary

Worst Elephant Zoo Spotlight for February: Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington; earning IDA’s Dishonorable Mention in our 2014 Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants list.

At long last, Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo finally announced the impending closure of its egregious elephant exhibit, succumbing to years of public pressure. IDA has long campaigned to help Bamboo, 47, and Chai, 35, the two remaining Asian elephants at this zoo. The Woodland Park Zoo earned a Dishonorable Mention on our 2014 Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants list, a list this zoo has appeared on seven times before for its decrepit exhibit, housing elephants in a cold climate, relentlessly cruel breeding program, and the fact that these elephants have suffered horribly from captivity-induced ailments.

We were disappointed to learn that the zoo is insisting on sending Bamboo and Chai to another zoo - rather than to an accredited elephant sanctuary where they can live a more natural life that meets their behavioral and biological needs, especially after spending so many years in substandard conditions. Sadly, this only proves that this zoo – and many others – does not make decisions that are in the best interests of the elephants. The Woodland Park Zoo earned IDA's Dishonorable Mention for denying their elephants a more honorable and humane opportunity.

There is still a chance that compassion instead of cruelty may ultimately reign in Seattle's last act for elephants - but our hope now lies with the Seattle City Council and Mayor Ed Murray to ensure that Bamboo and Chai are sent to a sanctuary. IDA hopes they will be wise and compassionate ambassadors of our human species – and engineer the elephants’ transfer to a sanctuary.  An announcement on the elephants' next home is expected from the zoo no later than February 27.

What you can do:



Please send a Heartfelt Valentine for elephants Bamboo and Chai to thank Mayor Murray and city councilmembers by submitting letter below: 

 Personalize and submit the form below to email your comments to:

  • Mayor Ed Murray
  • Mayor Murray's Chief of Staff, Chris Gregorich
  • Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
  • Councilmember Sally Clark
  • Councilmember Kshama Sawant
  • Councilmember Tim Burgess
  • Councilmember Jean Godden
  • Councilmember Bruce Harrell
  • Councilmember Mike O'Brien
  • Councilmember Nick Licata
  • Councilmember Tom Rasmussen

To see IDA's 2014 Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants list in its entirety, click here.

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Grant Our Valentine's Wish-Send Bamboo and Chai to a Sanctuary!

Dear [Decision Maker],

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]