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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

Topic: elephants

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August 29, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Woodland Park Zoo elephants: Provide a bigger area

While there is no doubt that the conditions for the elephants at the Woodland Park Zoo are deplorable, the fact remains that these magnificent animals are, and always have been, a major attraction for zoo attendees [“Elephant’s death a wake-up call,” Editorial, Aug. 26]. There is an alternative to removal of the two surviving elephants…

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Comments | Topics: elephants, woodland park zoo

August 26, 2014 at 7:08 AM

Watoto’s death: Send Woodland Park Zoo elephants to sanctuary

Woodland Park Zoo elephant Watoto unexpectedly died on Friday.

Woodland Park Zoo’s African elephant, Watoto, has died at age 45 [“Death of elephant at Seattle zoo mourned, revives debate,” Local News, Aug. 23]. The zoo claimed that she was old and had a “healthful” life. Neither is true. Elephants often live 60 to 70 years or more in wild areas protected from poaching. Asian…

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August 16, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Woodland Park Zoo: Open records

Kudos to the editorial board for its unwavering advocacy for the Woodland Park Zoo elephants — and its demand that the City Council live up to the accountability and transparency promises of Proposition 1 advocates by requiring the zoo to open its records [“Council can pressure zoo,” Opinion, Aug. 10]. In addition to the…

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Comments | More in Woodland Park Zoo | Topics: Beverly Marcus, City Council, elephants

August 5, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Zoo elephants: Taxpayers should be upset on zoo’s use of funds

Watoto, the only African elephant in the Woodland Park Zoo’s herd is fed by Russ Roach out in the exhibit yard. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

Thank you for the editorial “Taxpayers, Elephants Need Refuge from Zoo” [Opinion, Aug. 3]. The Woodland Park Zoo has launched a pretty new graphic ad campaign with the phrase “New Day, New Zoo.” The ad filled a full page in this past Sunday’s Seattle Times.

But it’s the editorial which gives the true picture of just how the zoo cares for its animals. The elephants have been and continue to be mistreated, and no tax money should go to this institution until it has

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Comments | More in animals | Topics: elephants, Mariah Sutherland, woodland park zoo

May 16, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Zoo’s plan won’t cut it for elephants; not an extreme view

Chai and Watato in the Woodland Park Zoo’s elephant exhibit. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

Zoo’s plan won’t cut it for elephants

The guest column from two Woodland Park Zoo board members, “Woodland Park Zoo takes good care of its elephants,” [Opinion, May 13] shows how out of touch the Zoo is with science and Seattleites’ values. The zoo’s labeling of those calling for the end of confining elephants in zoos as “extremists” is laughable.

Are the Scientific American, The Seattle Times and 62 percent of Seattleites extremists?

The Scientific American stated in an editorial: “Confined elephants often spend their time standing around in cramped quarters. … These tortuous conditions inflict serious physical and psychological damage on such smart and

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Comments | More in animals | Topics: Alyne Fortgang, Beverly Marcus, elephants

March 31, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Elephants in zoos: Not fitting for Seattle

Watoto, Woodland Park Zoo’s only African elephant, walks around enclosure before getting her bath in the elephant barn. Zoo officials hope to transfer Watoto and obtain an Asian female elephant, but the acquisition is not guaranteed. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times).

Animal experts and honest common sense all indicate that elephants should be allowed to roam free as the Almighty intended, and not be kept in a state of miserable captivity by a supposedly more intelligent species [“Woodland Park Zoo to expand elephant program,” Local News, March 28].

So why is Seattle, the center of sensitivity crusades, going along with

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Comments | More in animals | Topics: elephants, Tom Ruszala, Woodlawn Park Zoo

March 23, 2014 at 7:15 AM

Thank you for making a difference for Woodland Park Zoo elephants

If media can change people’s opinion, then your editorial might just do that for our three unfortunate elephants at the Woodland Park Zoo [“Retire zoo elephants to a sanctuary,” Opinion, March 19].

Your voice reflects wisdom and justice for doing the right thing. For example, having artificially inseminated Chai 112 times is both unjust and a disgrace.

Will the new Seattle Mayor Ed Murray echo your wise opinion to retire zoo elephants to a sanctuary? I hope so.
Friends of the Woodland Park Zoo elephants are indeed true friends who tirelessly work to free them. They do not believe in exploiting them for profit, as the zoo does. Their lawsuit and your editorial will be a wake-up call for the zoo board to finally change its mind and let them go.

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Comments | More in animals, Woodland Park Zoo | Topics: animals, elephants, woodland park zoo

March 22, 2014 at 7:36 AM

Elephants are at home at Woodland Park Zoo

I would like to know why The Seattle Times is so invested in sending the Woodland Park Zoo elephants away from their home [“Retire zoo elephants to a sanctuary,” Opinion, March 19].  It is one thing to print an article or series, but the editors seem determined to send the girls away.

It truly would be akin to taking your dog and sending him to a wolf sanctuary. Like your dog, the zoo elephants would not only have to find their place in a new pack (herd), with its own pecking order, but they would miss the place they have lived for decades and the people whom they love and who love them.

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Comments | More in animals, Woodland Park Zoo | Topics: animals, elephants, woodland park zoo

March 21, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Animals are not commodities, retire zoo elephants

Corrected version

Elephants do not belong in zoos [“Retire zoo elephants to a sanctuary,” Opinion, March 19].

Neither do giraffes, lions, hyenas or any other wild animal. Bringing children to a zoo does not stir support for wildlife conservation. It teaches them that animals are commodities to stare at or throw peanuts to, rather than sentient beings that suffer and feel pain.

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Comments | More in animals, Woodland Park Zoo | Topics: animals, Elephant Sanctuary, elephants

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