Panel is trivializing damage
The report recently issued by the Woodland Park Zoo elephant task force’s “expert panel” was predictably disappointing. [“Experts suggest changes for zoo’s elephants,” NW Thursday, Aug. 29.]
By opting to use innocuous terms such as “reduced joint mobility” and “occasional foot cracks,” instead of the more accurate “captivity-related arthritis” and “chronic foot infections” (both causes of premature death in zoo elephants), the panel has obviously chosen to trivialize and whitewash the shocking physical deterioration of the zoo’s three surviving elephants.
The Seattle City Council made a terrible mistake by allowing the zoo to control this task force. The result is a rubber-stamp committee of mostly current and former zoo board members and industry insiders, blindly loyal to the zoo and utterly disinterested in examining the profound damage that decades of inhumane confinement have had on the zoo’s elephants.
The Seattle City Council should remedy its mistake by forming a truly independent and objective task force.
Nancy Farnam, Edmonds