Crazy politics and zoo animals

Politics should never be involved when it comes to animals but it almost always ends up that way. Take for example the current bond measure on the Oregon ballot, the bond measure is an attempt to raise $117 million dollars for the slight (5 acre) expansion of the Oregon Zoo located in Portland, Oregon. I have no problem with upgrading a zoo for the sake of the animals but in light of what has happened over the past year I think that the Oregon Zoo had better clean up their act before begging for money from the public.

First off they have just had one of their elephants give birth to a calf. This is a 22 month gestation period. The zoo complains that they do not have enough room for their elephant herd. If they knew they did not have enough room for their existing herd then why did they allow the breeding of one of the cows? They knew about the situation (lack of space) 22 months prior to the elephant giving birth. The story does not end there though. Local animal welfare groups are picketing the zoo because of cruelty allegations. The female elephant that just gave birth is the subject of the protest. It appears that the elephant was treated last year for over 100 wounds to her from her trainers elephant “hook”. Now why does an animal in captivity need to have wounds from a metal prong? Maybe before the zoo goes begging for money they had better prove to the public they have the best interests of the animals in the forefront. Right now it doesn’t look like they do.


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