The Los Angeles County Democratic Party Passes a Resolution (2-09-16) Calling for Ending the Elephant Exhibit

Ending the Elephant Exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo

WHEREAS, many zoos in the United States and Europe have closed their elephant exhibits, citing lack of space, inadequate social groupings, chronic health problems, anxiety, agitation and premature death suffered by captive zoo elephants, while acknowledging the Scientific American Board of Editors’ conclusion that keeping elephants – intelligent and emotionally complex animals confined in zoos is wrong and must stop; and

WHEREAS, elephants in the wild typically roam 50 miles each day, even when food is abundant, and depend on vast amounts of space to maintain their physical well-being and strong social bonds with extended family networks, but at the Los Angeles Zoo, three elephants Billy, Tina, and Jewel are confined to only a few acres while Billy, the male elephant has lived over a quarter of a century in virtual isolation; and

WHEREAS, elephant breeding programs by zoos are largely unsuccessful, resulting in a high mortality rate for baby elephants while further disrupting elephant family bonds, and while advancing the false idea that zoo breeding will ensure the survival of elephants in their natural habitat when, in fact, these baby elephants are bred only for captivity;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party urges the City of Los Angeles to end its captive elephant breeding program, transfer Billy, Tina, and Jewel, at the earliest possible opportunity, to an existing sanctuary recognized for offering humane living conditions for these majestic animals; and

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party shall communicate this resolution to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles City Council, the Director of the Los Angeles Zoo, the Los Angeles Zoo Commission and to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Written by Marcy Winograd, member, West LA Democratic Club Sponsor: Tony Hale, AD 66