Elephants naturally need to roam several miles a day to maintain healthy joints and feet. They are also highly intelligent, sensitive, and social animals who need to be engaged by their surroundings in order to be happy. Billy has none of this.
Upon visiting the new exhibit, however, I was shocked to find that poor Billy is still being kept in a tiny area separate from the other elephants. He was still displaying the same repetitive swaying and head-bobbing behavior that demonstrates his stress, boredom, and depression. When I spoke to the attendant on duty, he had no awareness of the basic needs of elephants, such as their need for daily exercise. He told me that the elephants were rotated from one small area to another.
This new "state-of-the-art" elephant exhibit is not at all what the L.A. Zoo promised it would be. It seems to me that the new exhibit was built more to impress paying visitors than to meet Billy's needs. Not to mention that it cost taxpayers 42 million dollars. I feel betrayed and lied to by the Los Angeles Zoo, and I'm still very much concerned about the fate of Billy.
We are asking that signers of this petition please inundate Los Angeles City Council and the Mayor with calls and letters/emails that politely express that they do not agree with elephants being kept in zoos and why, and that they should be released to elephant sanctuaries.
Below is the contact information for the Mayor and City Council Members:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
This link gives their addresses for regular mail: https://www.lacity.org/city-government/city-council/council-directory
Phone lines -- https://www.lacity.org/city-government/city-directory
Mayor Garcetti -- http://www.lamayor.org/talk-us
I would like to share some of the hard work that 'Elephant Guardians of Los Angeles' have been doing, including aspiring to open up a new elephant sanctuary for elephant bulls in joined forces with the Kerulos Center based on ten principles of being: knowing, safety, self-determination, acceptance, support and trust. http://www.kerulos.org/our-projects/being-sanctuary/10-principles-of-sanctuary/
Below are articles and a recent video that shows poor Billy displaying his stress-related behavior of head-bobbing. You need to scroll down on the 'L.A. Progressive' news article by Marcy Winograd.
I ask for donations to the worthy cause of opening up an all elephant bull sanctuary at the Kerulos Center here: http://www.kerulos.org/donate
In closing I would like to share a poet's hauntingly beautiful yet sad write:
NOTICE -- ANOTHER PROTEST AT L.A. ZOO AGAINST THE EXPLOITATION OF ANIMALS IN CAPTIVITY -- BECAUSE 'FREEDOM MATTERS!
We are planning another anti-captivity protest at the Los Angeles Zoo soon (to be announced). It is sponsored by Free Billy the Elephant, Elephant Guardians of Los Angeles, Los Angeles For Animals and A Group of Animal Lovers. Bring friends and family!
This will be a general anti-captivity, anti-zoo, anti-exploitation demonstration for ALL of the Animals held at the zoo. Billy and the other elephants are a part of this as well as all of the other animals at the zoo. Bring signs along the lines of "Freedom Matters" and/or "Let Wild Things Be Wild". Nothing graphic and NO profanity. We are there to educate the public, not harass them. Please see the rules for the protest below - we hope to see you there! And please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Rules for Protest at Los Angeles Zoo:
1. We must remain 16 feet away from the entrance and the ticket booth
2. We cannot impede traffic (auto or pedestrian)
5. No sound amplification equipment can be used, per the Los Angeles Zoo Free Speech Policy
NOTE: We are there to educate not harass zoo visitors - most people do not know there is anything wrong with the zoo and are just hoping to enjoy a fun and educational outing with their children. We plan to have a list of alternatives in the Los Angeles area for families where they can learn about Animals without exploitation. If you have any suggestions for the list, please let us know. Thank you for your continued support of Billy!
OTHER UPDATES -- regarding Billy the elephant;
- Discussion of Motion to Release Billy: We need to organize people from Ryus' district (District 4, the Los Angeles Zoo is in his district) to contact him in support of Billy's Motion. Kiersten has organized a list of Neighborhood Councils in Ryu's District as place to start.
- Update on ABES: The Kerulos Center is moving forward with establishing ABES, the All Bull Elephants' Sanctuary in Georgia. We Need to raise funds. Kiersten is available to speak to groups interested in supporting the sanctuary after October, when the business plan is complete.
PLEASE CONTINUE TO WRITE AND/OR CALL THE LOS ANGELES COUNCIL MEMBERS REGARDING YOUR SUPPORT TO FREE BILLY THE ELEPHANT TO A SANCTUARY. A LIST OF EMAILS AND PHONE NUMBERS FOR THEM IS POSTED ABOVE.
For more information, please contact; Kiersten at email@example.com and Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your continued support for Billy and to free all captive animals from exploitation in zoos.