Reid Park Zoo Elephant Friends Need Your Help More Than Ever

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Originally Posted: 25 November 2011

Reid Park Zoo Elephant Friends Need Your Help More Than Ever

[Ed. Note: GOOD NEWS January 2012: Tucson Zoo Elephants Won’t Be Split Up...For Now]

[Ed. Note: See previous Alert - Do NOT Separate Elephant Friends Connie and Shaba.]

FROM In Defense of Animals (IDA) / Help Elephants

ACTION

Keep these elephants together! Connie and Shaba have been together at the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson since 1982 when Connie was 15 and Shaba was just 2. They have been deeply bonded since the day they were first brought together.

Sign an online petition:
https://secure2.convio.net/ida/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=2017&JServSessionIdr004=evgqhr4mx4.app245b

And/or better yet, make direct contact:

Mayor Bob Walkup
City Hall
255 West Alameda Street
Tucson, Arizona 85701
phone (520) 791-4201
fax (520) 791-5348
E-Mail: mayor1@tucsonaz.gov

Tucson City Council Members?
c/o City Clerk
P.O. Box 27210
Tucson, AZ 85726-7210
email: cityclerk@tucsonaz.gov
phone (520) 791-4213
fax (520) 791-4017

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

After a short discussion that allowed for no public comment, the Tucson City Council has decided to leave the fate of elephants Connie and Shaba in the hands of the Reid Park Zoo. This virtually assures that the elephants' 30-year bond will be shattered when Asian elephant Connie is sent to the San Diego Zoo early next year.

Tucson city council members have received over 16,000 emails opposing the zoo's plan to separate Connie and Shaba, yet during the city council session the focus was placed on the zoo's new elephant program and not on the welfare of these two elephants.

Connie and Shaba have been together at the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson since 1982 when Connie was 15 and Shaba was just 2. They have been deeply bonded since the day they were first brought together.

The zoo plans to send Asian elephant Connie to the San Diego Zoo. It will bring a group of African elephants (a bull and two females with calves) to the Reid Park Zoo from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and try to integrate Shaba with them. There is no guarantee that she will integrate with the group; if not, Shaba would be moved to another zoo. There is also a chance that she could be injured during the introduction process; just last week one elephant attacked and killed another elephant at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

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I was extremely disappointed to learn that the city decided to pass the buck and allow the Reid Park Zoo to continue with its cruel plan to separate elephants Connie and Shaba. Given all we know about elephants and their intense social attachments, it is hard to believe that your city would allow this to happen. To separate them after 30 years is just wrong.

I urge you to revisit this important issue and to explore compassionate options that would preserve their lifelong bond, including the possibility of sending them to a natural habitat sanctuary.

After all the years that Connie and Shaba have spent on display at the Reid Park Zoo, they deserve better. The world is watching how Tucson handles this situation. I hope that you will rise to the occasion and do the right thing by ensuring that Connie and Shaba remain together.


Thank you for everything you do for animals!