Firefighters Called to Help Elephant Savannah Stand
El Paso Times
By Daniel Borunda
EL PASO -- Firefighters used special inflating airbags to lift the 7,700-pound elephant Savannah when she could not stand on her own Monday morning at the El Paso Zoo.
The rescue team was called after Savannah, who is 57 years old, was unable to stand up after lying on an incline, zoo officials said. Medical staff are monitoring the Asian elephant and gave her anti-inflammatory medicine.
Save Savannah and Juno!
Time sensitive matter!
Voted Number 8 on IDA's Top 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants!
El Paso Zoo—Deep in the "heart" of Texas. Two elephants still remain under the "care" of the keeper caught beating Sissy on videotape. Even though they cause pain and injury, the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA), a zoo industry trade group, still permits the use of bullhooks, electric prods and other coercive means to control the gentle giants. Sissy won’t forget the beatings she suffered at this zoo.
As IDA reports:
Juno’s records indicate she has suffered from digestive disorders, foot abscess, and obesity which increases stress on her joints and feet and can lead to arthritis and often-lethal foot ailments. Earlier this year, Juno suffered an unexplained laceration to her trunk not inconsistent with misuse of a bullhook. Savannah suffers from arthritis, abscesses, and captivity-induced foot problems. Both elephants show extreme repetitive behaviors such as rocking and swaying, an indication of stress and boredom.
“Access to soft ground and varied terrain at a sanctuary can actually improve serious foot problems and the effects of decades spent in cramped zoo exhibits,” says Les Schobert, former L.A. Zoo curator. “The El Paso Zoo must follow the lead of Detroit and San Francisco zoos and transfer Savannah and Juno to a sanctuary where they can enjoy relative freedom on hundreds of acres in a naturalistic habitat.”
Copies of Juno and Savannah’s medical records and statements from world renowned animal experts with 200+ years of combined experience in elephant care and zoo management, including Keith Lindsay, Gay Bradshaw, John Freeze, and author and zoo veterinarian Dr. Michael Schmidt in support of sending Juno and Savannah to a sanctuary are available.
Savannah and Juno are forced to stand on concrete and hard, compacted dirt, causing joint and foot problems and severe arthritis. All of these disorders rank among the top reasons that elephants in zoos are euthanized decades before they have lived out their natural lifespan.
Currently, the exhibit in El Paso is a pitiful 0.7 acre enclosure. The zoo claims the elephants get adequate exercise and that "there is no direct evidence, studies or data that indicates elephants live longer because of the space they have." How about this El Paso Zoo: it is well known that elephants in the wild travel up to 40 miles a day and live into their sixties and seventies. Elephants in captivity, who are unable to walk even one mile in a day, usually don't live past age 40.
Meanwhile, the El Paso city council was warned that if it interferes with zoo management and sends the animals to sanctuary, the American Zoological Association (AZA) might take away the zoo's accreditation. The AZA has made these threats to other zoos in the past, (Detroit, San Francisco) although they have never actually discredited a zoo for this. And if they did, what, exactly, would the Zoo lose? Detroit Zoo Director Ron Kagan was also threatened with AZA accreditation and his elephants are now at sanctuary.
El PAso Mayor-elect John Cook, who has championed animal causes in the past, has said publicly that he would support sending the elephants to Tennessee.
Sissy, an elephant who now resides at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee (TES) was viciously beaten by keepers at the El Paso Zoo. The El Paso City council at that time voted to move Sissy immediately to TES. This video on Sissy's progress includes footage that was given to KFOX news by a whistleblower from the zoo, who later sued the city saying since then, his co-workers and boss have retaliated against him for the bad publicity.
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