Bob Barker and Lily Tomlin are putting a smile on my face this morning as they campaign against a new elephant exhibit under construction at the Los Angeles Zoo.
“How many elephants have to die at the Los Angeles Zoo before the zoo comes to terms with the fact that it is impossible to have elephants in a zoo and remain healthy and happy?” says Barker. “Other zoos – the enlightened, progressive zoos – have already discontinued their elephant exhibits. Sixteen elephants have died in the Los Angeles Zoo. About half of them died before they reached the age of 20. In the wild elephants live 65 or 70 years. In zoos the average lifespan, I have read, is 34 years. But at the Los Angeles Zoo, some elephants are dying before they reach 20 years of age.”
They are also trying to “Save Billy,” the bull elephant who has resided at the zoo for 20 years. Barker even offered $100,000 of his own money to have Billy moved to a wildlife sanctuary in Northern California.
“They not only die early in zoos,” added Tomlin, “The word ‘zoo’ is sort of elephant speak for Guantanamo. They are suffering and being tortured daily just by virtue of their confinement.”
Like many others, for years I was unaware of the cruelty that most animals suffer at the hands of the world’s zoos. To find out more, visit MercyForAnimals.org!