Free Billy the Elephant from His Lonely, Cramped Life at the L.A. Zoo

Billy the elephant has lived at the Los Angeles Zoo for nearly 30 years, since he was taken as a youngster from his natural environment in Malaysia. For most of this time, he has endured living all by himself in an extremely tiny enclosure. As a result, he has displayed significant signs of stress, such as swaying and rocking side to side and head-bobbing due to frustration, boredom and possibly depression.
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. 
The last time I saw Billy at the L.A. Zoo I was horrified to see how miserable he looks in his cramped enclosure. I am not alone in being worried that Billy will face the same fate as his predecessors at the Los Angeles Zoo, who died prematurely due to conditions elephants often acquire while living in enclosed and cramped quarters.  

After public protests and a lawsuit filed on Billy's behalf a few years ago, the Los Angeles Zoo promised to close down the old elephant exhibit and build a bigger, better enclosure for Billy that would be more like his natural environment. 
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.
Please sign this petition to demand that the L.A. Zoo free Billy to an elephant sanctuary because he is displaying severe signs of stress in his present environment. 

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:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

This link gives their addresses for regular mail:

Phone lines --

Mayor Garcetti --

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.

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:

In closing I would like to share a poet's hauntingly beautiful yet sad write:

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)
3. No tables or chairs
4. No graphic signs
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.
For more information, please contact; Kiersten at and Karen at
Thank you for your continued support for Billy and to free all captive animals from exploitation in zoos.
Karen Eisenlord
On behalf of Billy the Elephant at the Los Angeles Zoo, we the signers of this petition request that he be retired to an elephant sanctuary immediately. He has suffered enough as evidenced by his display of stress-related behavior. The new elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo does not meet Billy's needs as he is still being kept in small enclosures away from the other elephants. This has been witnessed by many who have visited the zoo within the past few years. Anyone that observes Billy in this new exhibit can attest to this. It is also brings to question if Billy is receiving the daily exercise that a judge ordered for him to get, as caretakers who are questioned apparently do not have answers nor understand the needs of elephants. In fact, the other two elephants, Tina and Jewel who are elderly and we have since learned were victims of the circus in their youth, should be released to sanctuaries also. It is clear that the Los Angeles Zoo's elephant exhibit should be shut down as it is not meeting the needs of the elephants. For those who visit the new exhibit first-hand they soon learn that the new exhibit is not what the zoo had claimed it would be, as the elephants are rotated from one small enclosure to another and poor Billy is exhibiting stress-related behavior -- swaying, rocking and head-bobbing. He is miserable, bored, frustrated and depressed. Please release these animals to a sanctuary. The elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo needs to be shut down and the elephants retired to a sanctuary where they can live out the remainder of their lives where their needs will be met more appropriately. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Update #122 days ago
The next Free Billy Rally will be on Saturday, March 31 at 10:00 am to 12:00 noon in front of the Los Angeles Zoo. Facebook:

Below are the individual district meetings for Billy for people to attend and speak up for Billy --

Date: Tuesday, March 20
Location: Elysian Masonic Lodge, 1900 N. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, 90027

Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council Meeting -- March 26th

Update #112 days ago
I am recruiting international animal organizations to join a coalition to 'Free Billy the Elephant' to a sanctuary from his 30-year stay at the Los Angeles Zoo. Would you be interested in having the name of your group added to the coalition?

Please contact me at if you wish to join us and have the name of your organization added to our growing list of supporters. We just require the name of your organization, your website and country of origin. Sorry, no individuals.

Update #103 months ago
Great news! In just three days, Care2 was able to raise $10,490 from 690 donors to cover costs for the campaign to free Billy. Thanks to the huge outpouring of support from the people who signed this petition, we were able to pay for a #FreeBilly billboard in LA, six #FreeBilly bus stop ads near the zoo, a #FreeBilly projection during the LA Lights Festival, and #FreeBilly t-shirts and signs to be used during rallies.
Update #510 months ago
A resolution is before the City Council to release Billy to a sanctuary! Please phone and email these officials to show your support, as it must pass a vote --, 213-473-7005,, 213-473-7013,, 213-473-7009,, 213-473-7003,, 213-473-7004, CC on all emails: City Clerk, and Thank you!

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