Billy, who is 32 years old, has been at the zoo for nearly 30 years.
Billy has exhibited abnormal behavior, such as repeatedly bobbing his head, because he does not get the exercise he needs.He shares his enclosure with two female elephants, Tina and Jewel, but is separated from them by a corral.
The group Voice For The Animals has mounted a “Free Billy” campaign. We the undersigned support this movement.
“For many years, Billy has lived in an area completely unnatural for an animal of his size and of his stature,” Koretz said in a statement. “It’s sad and wrong to see any animal, living in captivity, in social isolation, restricted in movement, and physical activity.”
This isn’t the first time the elephant exhibit at the zoo has come under scrutiny. In August 2007, Los Angeles resident Aaron Leider sued Lewis and the City of Los Angeles, challenging the expansion of the exhibit.
The lawsuit claimed that the zoo was exposing elephants to “cruel, abusive and illegal treatment” that involved chains, drugs, bullhooks and electric shocks. The complaint also pointed to Billy’s head bobbing as a display of “stress, frustration, and loneliness.”
In n 2012, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John Segal stopped short of ruling that the zoo’s treatment was inhumane but said that the zoo needed to take better care of the elephants.
Billy has under gone 30 years of captivity. It's past time to release him to a reputable elephant sanctuary.
There, he would have the opportunity to roam acres of natural habitat, play in a pond, forage for fresh vegetation, befriend other elephants, and enjoy a full, healthy, and enriched life.
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