Do NOT Separate Elephant Friends Connie and Shaba

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Originally Posted: 20 November 2011

Do NOT Separate Elephant Friends Connie and Shaba

[Ed. Note: See follow-up Alert, November 25, 2011 - Reid Park Zoo Elephant Friends Need Your Help More Than Ever.]

FROM In Defense of Animals (IDA) / Help Elephants


TODAY! Send a message to Tucson’s mayor and council members. Ask them to have a heart and stop the separation of Connie and Shaba who have lived together since 1982! [Ed. Note... Good grief!]

Sign an online petition:

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: [email protected]

City Clerk
P.O. Box 27210
Tucson, AZ 85726-7210
email: [email protected]
phone (520) 791-4213
fax (520) 791-4017


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. Now, after nearly 30 years, the zoo wants to separate them and send Connie away. Not only is this wrong, it contradicts what the public and the City were told by the Zoo about the new elephant exhibit – that it would be a new home for Connie and Shaba.

When an attempt was made in 2005 to send Connie and Shaba to a spacious, natural habitat sanctuary the zoo fought back, saying the two elephants should not be moved or separated. Media sources reported zoo director Susan Basford as saying: “These animals, if at all possible, should stay together.” The City Council later approved funds for construction of a new exhibit meant for Connie and Shaba.

Now that the zoo has nearly completed construction of its multi-million dollar elephant display, Connie and Shaba’s close bond doesn’t seem to matter any longer. 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 absolutely no guarantee that she will integrate with the group; if not, she would be moved to another zoo.

Tuesday November 22, 2011 the Tucson city council will hold an important study session to discuss the issue and may even act on it. Please tell them today that the world is watching and cares deeply about the fate of these long-time elephant companions. Urge them to find a compassionate solution that respects Connie and Shaba’s lifelong bond.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!