San Antonio Zoo Is No Place For Queenie

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Originally Posted:  14 November 2009

San Antonio Zoo Is No Place For Queenie

FROM In Defense of Animals (IDA)

Stop plans to move Queenie from Davenport Circus to San Antonio Zoo. Queenie must be released to a reputable sanctuary.


Sign an online petition

And/Or better yet, make direct contact:

Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue S.W.
Washington, DC 20250

Kevin Shea
4700 River Road, Unit 84
Riverdale, MD 20737-1234
phone (301) 734-7833
fax (301) 734-4978


In response to recent news reports about the future of the San Antonio Zoo's lone Asian elephant, Lucky, zoo director Steve McCusker has stated that he is “very close” to securing another Asian elephant to bring into the San Antonio Zoo's decrepit elephant exhibit.

IDA has reason to believe that this elephant is Queenie, the long suffering elephant who has been at the mercy of the notorious Davenport circus family for over three decades.

IDA has sent a strong letter to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the USDA's APHIS division letting them know in no uncertain terms that the decision to send Queenie to the San Antonio Zoo would be unacceptable. The zoo's tiny elephant exhibit is not fit for one, let alone two elephants.

Asian elephants have no future in San Antonio. Zoo director McCusker stated publicly in July 2008 that the zoo's long-term plan is to display African elephants. The Asian elephants will likely be dumped elsewhere when construction of a new exhibit begins. Instead of bringing another elephant into its outdated and inhumane exhibit as a companion for Lucky, the zoo should send Lucky to a sanctuary.

The USDA has filed extremely grave charges against Queenie's handler, Will Davenport, which could result in the USDA’s gaining custody of Queenie. The PAWS Sanctuary, which has expertise in caring for geriatric elephants, has sent a letter to the USDA offering to take Queenie and provide her with quality, lifetime care.

Please let the USDA know that any decision to send Queenie to the San Antonio Zoo, or any other zoo with a cramped and unnatural elephant exhibit, will be met with widespread public outrage. After all she's been through, Queenie deserves to live her final years at the spacious, natural habitat PAWS sanctuary.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!