No more elephants for Seattle
at 4:25pm by Cambria Roth
Seattle kids and adults will miss out on an elephant exhibit in 2015. After a long elephant tenure — filled in recent years with criticisms, bad reviews and elephant deaths — the Woodland Park Zoo announced today that it is eliminating its elephant program.The zoo will send its two female Asian elephants—47-year-old Bamboo and 35-year-old Chai— elsewhere, seattlepi.com notes. The zoo went under fire a year ago when a zoo task force told the zoo it needed to make improvements to the way it cared for its then-three elephants. They suggested enlarging the facility, reducing choke points in the barn and expanding the enrichment program."After several months of working to implement the recommendations of the elephant task force, we have found that adding to the herd of our two aging elephants is not realistic in the foreseeable future. It is in the best interest of Bamboo and Chai to live in a social, multi-animal herd in a healthy environment," Woodland Park Zoo's President and CEO Deborah Jensen said in a statement. "We will ensure Bamboo and Chai will be relocated together to an Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) facility that shares our commitment to animal health and welfare and conservation through education, and provides viewing access to the animals.”The zoo was left with only two elephants when Watoto, a fixture at the zoo for 43 years, was euthanized recently. (An in-depth report Crosscut's Eric Scigliano wrote at the time is here. His article on the Zoo's announcement today is here.) — C.R.