Oregon Zoo Murders Packy The Elephant

Despite protests from scientists, the public and his own keepers, Packy the elephant was murdered by the Oregon Zoo on February 9 a date that is now being recognized as World Zoothanasia Day. At 54, Packy was the oldest known Asian male elephant in North America. He was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2013, yet he showed no signs of distress or discomfort due to his condition.

One of Packy's keepers stated on a dedicated Facebook page before Packy's death that the decision to kill Packy was, "..not based on science, safety or Packy's best interest. It is a risk based decision made by politicians, attorneys and other officials who fear the future repercussions of keeping him alive."

According to Team Packy, an organization that was dedicated to Packy's wellbeing, a member of the zoo staff was quoted as saying the following during a staff meeting, "How much is a 54 year old bull worth compared to a 4 year old reproductive calf?" These statements seem to reveal the true value that the Zoo placed on Packy value that was based on economics above anything else.

"Make no mistake, this killing was not 'euthanasia' but 'zoothanasia,'" said Toni Frohoff, Ph.D., Elephant Scientist for In Defense of Animals in our press release sent out before the killing, referring to the controversial practice of destroying animals who are considered surplus to zoo breeding programs because of age or genetics a term coined by Dr. Marc Bekoff. "Euthanasia is killing out of compassion to alleviate an individual's suffering. This did not appear to be the case for Packy."

In Defense of Animals, along with Dr. Marc Bekoff, are marking February 9, 2017 as World Zoothanasia Day in honor of Packy the elephant, Marius the giraffe, the lions of Copenhagen Zoo, and countless other animals who have been killed at the hands of zoos.

Oregon Zoo earned fifth place on In Defense of Animals' 2016 list of the "Worst Zoos for Elephants in North America."

Free the Oregon Zoo Elephants is encouraging locals to join a protest for Packy. Please participate if you are able.

What you can do:



Let the Oregon Zoo and Metro City Council know that are holding them accountable for their treatment of Packy.

1) Call the Oregon Zoo and Metro City Council and calmly say that ending Packy's life prematurely was unacceptable and that we hold Metro and the Zoo both accountable.

Oregon Zoo's Director, Don Moore, 503-220-2450
Metro Council President, Tom Hughes, 503-797-1989

2) Follow up your call with an email by submitting our letter below.


Personalize and submit the letter below to email your comments to:
  • Don Moore - Oregon Zoo Director
  • Tom Hughes - Metro City Council President


(Valid street address is required - P.O. Boxes cannot be used*)

* our advocacy software requires actual street addresses in order to determine voting districts. Although we acknowledge that a P.O. Box is a valid mailing address, for advocacy purposes it cannot be used. Thank you for your understanding.




Killing Packy Was NOT Euthanasia, It Was Zoothanasia

Dear [Decision Maker],

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


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