Alert

Saturday: Demonstrations at Bronx Zoo and 30 Cities Worldwide to Highlight Elephant-sized Controversy at Zoos

Contact: Donna Reynolds, 518-336-4038, DReynolds3@nycap.rr.com
Suzanne Roy, 919-697-9389, sroy@idausa.org
Catherine Doyle, 323-301-5730, zoos@idausa.org

Saturday: Demonstrations at Bronx Zoo and 30 Cities Worldwide to Highlight Elephant-sized Controversy at Zoos
Lily Tomlin and Advocates Call on Bronx Zoo to Send Elephants to Sanctuary

Bronx, NY–Saturday, concerned citizens from the New York area will participate in the International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos with a demonstration at the Bronx Zoo. Advocates will release a letter from acclaimed actress and comedienne Lily Tomlin, calling on the Zoo to send its elephants to a spacious, natural-habitat sanctuary.

Sponsored by In Defense of Animals (IDA), this first-ever international day will include events in 30 cities in seven countries aimed at educating the public about the plight of elephants in zoos. (See a complete list of events.)

What: International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos, release of Lily Tomlin letter calling for the Bronx Zoo to send the elephants to a sanctuary
When: Saturday, June 20, 2009, from 9am-12pm
Where: Bronx Zoo, outside Bronx River Parking Entrance

In her letter to Wildlife Conservation Society president Dr. Steven Sanderson, Tomlin stated, "Considering your financial straits and the fact that the Bronx Zoo has already announced it would phase out its elephant program, I cannot think of a better moment to retire the three elephants at the zoo, Happy, Maxine and Patty, to an elephant sanctuary. It's time to give them a golden parachute."

The elephants - all of whom were taken from the wild - have spent more than 30 years on display at the Bronx Zoo, where they live in a tiny, unnatural exhibit and are forced to spend the majority of the area’s long, frigid winters indoors, conditions known to cause serious health and behavioral problems. By contrast, a sanctuary offers elephants a warmer climate, year-round access to large expanses of land, and a more stimulating natural environment.

Tomlin joins many international experts and scientists who now conclude that elephant captivity does not equal elephant conservation, and that earth's largest land mammals do not belong in cramped and unnatural zoo exhibits where they sicken and die prematurely. In announcing its phase-out of elephants at the Bronx Zoo, the Wildlife Conservation Society signaled its agreement, stating it would rather steer its money toward preserving elephants in Africa and Asia.

"Zoos can no longer ignore the mounting scientific evidence of the devastating effects of captivity on elephants," said Elliot M. Katz, DVM, IDA President. "On Saturday, the world will learn about the suffering elephants endure in zoos. An educated public will no longer tolerate such cruelty."

In Defense of Animals is an international animal rescue and protection organization based in California. IDA supports anti-poaching patrols in Kenya; raises funds for research and conservation in Asia and Africa; operates a sanctuary for chimpanzee orphans in Cameroon, works to stop the bushmeat trade; fights to stop the mass slaughter of dolphins in Japan and the killing of baby seals, sea lions, elk, buffalo, wild horses and many other species throughout the world.

In Defense of Animals is an international animal rescue and protection organization based in California. IDA supports anti-poaching patrols in Kenya; raises funds for research and conservation in Asia and Africa; operates a sanctuary for chimpanzee orphans in Cameroon, works to stop the bushmeat trade; fights to stop the mass slaughter of dolphins in Japan and the killing of baby seals, sea lions, elk, buffalo, wild horses and many other species throughout the world.

Read Lily Tomlin's Letter

For more information, please visit www.HelpElephants.com