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Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 16, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Elephants at the Woodland Park Zoo

Doing well, but could be better

Chai getting up close as the cameras snap away in the elephant enviroment at the Woodland Park Zoo. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times.]

Chai getting up close as the cameras snap away in the elephant enviroment at the Woodland Park Zoo. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times.]

I encourage anyone interested in learning about the substantiated health of the Woodland Park Zoo elephants to read the expert panel draft report in its entirety. [“Experts suggest changes for zoo’s elephants,” NW Thursday, Aug. 29.]

This report was compiled by experts who have reviewed the historical veterinary records, talked with keepers, and also physically evaluated the elephants in their current condition.

The level of detail, which I have not previously seen included in discussions about these elephants, was tremendously useful in being able to more accurately put into context the concerns that have been raised. This information, along with my extensive personal observation of these elephants, has given me a much better understanding of presented “facts” that are either incomplete or, in some cases, misleading.

The report shows the elephants are in good health and are bright, alert, and active, though it acknowledges that their behavioral and social well-being should be improved. However, to me, this does not equate to poor zoo management or an automatic need to relocate the elephants. I do hope that Woodland Park Zoo implements the recommendations soon.

Beth Minnich, Mill Creek

Comments | More in animals, Seattle, Woodland Park Zoo | Topics: elephants, task force, treatment

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