Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Elephant captivity in zoos raises concerns
No reason for any elephant captivity
The Seattle Times is to be commended for its excellent, well-researched article on elephants in captivity [“Elephants dying out in America’s zoos,” page one, Dec. 2]. I hope it will make people aware of the dreadful conditions in which the elephants live at Woodland Park Zoo and many other zoos in this country and in the rest of the world.
The article mentions that Chai was taken from her mother when she was one year old, before being weaned. Elephants are extremely sensitive and emotional beings with strong family attachments, able to experience deep grief. Their life span is also comparable to humans. I cannot imagine how grief-stricken Chai's mother must have been to watch her baby being dragged away from her.
This series will educate the public about the true nature of elephants and the inhumane treatment they have received, and continue to receive, at the hands of zoos and circuses. There is absolutely no good reason to have elephants in any form of captivity.
—Marcy Ushimaru, Seattle
Thank you for publishing the article on elephants in captivity, including our Woodland Park Zoo. Elephants do not belong in captivity and it is time that the public is aware and changes are made.
I have cried every time I heard about attempts to impregnate Chai. The indignity to her and the discomfort is unacceptable.
I want my children and grandchildren to see pictures of elephants in the wild, playfully happy and social, not cordoned off in areas way too small for them. Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand is a fine example of how elephants should live and thrive.
—Nancy Spilberg, Bellevue