Chai Is Dead! Tell the Oklahoma City Zoo to Close Elephant Exhibit
Action Alert from


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
February 2016

[Also see In Chai's Memory, Please Take These Two Actions]

From Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants:

Chai is at peace now—free from suffering at the hands of the zoo industry. At 37, Chai would have been at the prime of her life in the wild, and still bearing calves, but Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ) and now the Oklahoma City Zoo (OKC Zoo) bear the responsibility of another elephant dying prematurely. Chai’s life was filled with trauma, starting with being ripped from her mother at only one-year-old. She was beaten at Dickerson Park Zoo, suffered the heartbreak of losing her daughter, Hansa (6), and endured 112 invasive artificial inseminations. WPZ went against science and the will of the vast majority of Seattle residents by moving Chai (and Bamboo) to the OKC Zoo, another inadequate zoo devoid of any quality of life, rather than retiring her to sanctuary. Zoos must stop incarcerating and breeding elephants into a life sentence of misery.


Less than a year ago, a Seattle zoo shuttered its elephant exhibit following the death of an elephant named Watoto, who was found collapsed in her enclosure, never to get back up again. The zoo sent the two remaining elephants, Chai and Bamboo, to the Oklahoma City Zoo, even though an accredited sanctuary was standing by, ready to give them a new home. Instead of retiring to vast fields and woods to explore with companions, Chai and Bamboo were condemned to continue their miserable existence behind bars and on display. Now, Chai is dead, found collapsed in her enclosure just like Watoto was.

Chai at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo before being moved to Oklahoma...

The Oklahoma City Zoo should do the right thing for Bamboo and the four other elephants it exhibits. Please take action today by urging the Oklahoma City Zoo to close its elephant exhibit immediately and send the elephants to a sanctuary, where they wouldn't die alone and unassisted as Chai did.text

Sign an online petition here.

And/or better yet, make direct contact:

Post on the Oklahoma City Zoo's Facebook page and urge officials to retire the remaining elephants to a sanctuary so that they don't suffer the same fate as Chai.

Make a follow-up call to zoo officials at 405-424-3344 and ask what their plan is to ensure that the remaining elephants get to live the remainder of their lives with adequate space and proper care.


I'm writing to express my sadness over Chai's tragic and untimely death--and to urge you to protect and give a happier ending to the remaining elephants at your facility by closing your elephant exhibit and sending the elephants to an accredited sanctuary immediately.

If you truly think of these elephants as part of your family and take their well-being seriously, you would retire them to an accredited sanctuary, where they would receive a much-needed respite after a life of confinement. Please do what is right for Chai's companion, Bamboo, and the other elephants held at the Oklahoma City Zoo and give them the opportunity to enjoy brighter days and space to roam--something that Chai never got to experience.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!

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