Elephtant Protection Fund

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Breaking News - Judge Agrees With IDA, Says Los Angeles Zoo Elephants Are Not Healthy, Happy, Or Thriving

If you appreciate our work for elephants, please use the secure form at the bottom of this page to support our efforts.

On July 24, 2012 California Superior Court Judge John L. Segal released a scathing decision in a lawsuit regarding the elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo. He concluded that the elephants are not "healthy, happy or thriving." The judge said the zoo's new $42 million exhibit is injuring the three elephants who live Tina and Jewel at the Los Angeles Zoothere, Billy, Tina and Jewel, but stopped short of closing the exhibit. Instead, the judge ordered the zoo to make changes such as increasing exercise and rototilling to soften the soil in the exhibit, and banning bullhooks and electric shock devices.

IDA has been working for the last five years on this lawsuit, providing valuable expertise and experience. Elephant Campaign Director Catherine Doyle testified during the six-day trial as a rebuttal witness.

The judge wrote: "The evidence at trial shows that life at the Los Angeles Zoo for Billy, Tina, and Jewell is empty, purposeless, boring, and occasionally painful. Their lives are supervised, managed, and controlled by zoo employees who appear to be in the dark about normal and abnormal behavior of elephants, in denial about the physical and emotional difficulties of the elephants they manage and whose lives they control, and under the misconception that the elephants prefer to live their lives in an exhibit with human companions rather than with other elephants."

Sadly, the issues raised in the lawsuit and in the judge's decision are not limited to the Los Angeles Zoo, but are shared by zoos around the country, including the same delusional approach to managing elephants, believing that abnormal repetitive behaviors are a sign of contentment, like a dog wagging a tail; that use of the bullhook is no different than a leash on a dog; and that elephants can thrive in tiny exhibits in which they are emotionally and socially deprived.

IDA will build on this landmark decision in our work for elephants. With your support, we will continue to work for Tina, Jewel and Billy until they are released from the zoo. We also fight to protect those in the wild. Some of our activities that you have funded include:

  • Providing direct assistance to the Amboseli Trust for Elephants with a grant for anti-poaching efforts. Your donations paid for rewards leading to the arrests of poachers.
  • Your donations purchased radio collars for nine young elephants who were rescued from the cruel elephant-back safari trade and reintroduced into the wild in Zimbabwe.
  • Successfully fighting the export of elephant calves and other wildlife from Zimbabwe to a zoo in North Korea. Now, we are fighting to stop the export of elephants from Namibia to a zoo in Cuba.
  • Mobilizing IDA supporters to send a loud and clear message that the U.S. government should never support the sale of ivory by African countries.
  • Generating thousands of messages urging the government of Sri Lanka to protect elephants both in the wild and in captivity and end the export of elephant calves to foreign zoos.

There’s so much more work to be done. Please make a contribution today so IDA can continue to make a difference. Together, we can help elephants survive. Thank you!

Please support IDA's Elephant Protection Fund
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To donate by mail, please send check payable to In Defense of Animals, with “Elephant Protection Fund” in the memo field, to:

In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94901

This project is just one of many that IDA is involved in to protect animals. Money contributed to IDA supports ALL our worthy programs and gives us the flexibility to respond to emerging needs. Thank you for your support and consideration.



In Defense of Animals, located in San Rafael, Calif., is an international animal protection organization with more than 100,000 members and supporters dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights and welfare. IDA's efforts include educational events, cruelty investigations, boycotts, grassroots activism, and hands-on rescue through our sanctuaries in Mississippi, Mumbai, India, and Cameroon, Africa.

In Defense of Animals is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We welcome your feedback and appreciate your donations. Please join today! All donations to IDA are tax-deductible.

In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031
idainfo@idausa.org

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