August 16, 2009 |
An elephant who stepped on a land mine 10 years ago was fitted for a permanent artificial leg. Motola became a symbol of the plight of today's elephants, and her injury has sparked international sympathy and donations. Experts in Thailand were making a cast of the 48-year-old pachyderm's injured left front leg for a plastic prosthetic limb. "I do hope she will accept the new leg. It would be wonderful to see Motola and Baby Mosha walking together side by side," said Soraida Salwala of the Friends of the Asian Elephant group.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 21, 2009 |
The Los Angeles Zoo paid a federal fine of several thousand dollars in the wake of a U.S. Department of Agriculture investigation into the 2006 deaths of the zoo's popular female Asian elephant, Gita, and a chimpanzee, Judeo, zoo officials confirmed Monday. Gita was found down in her enclosure early one morning in June 2006 and could not be saved despite extensive veterinary intervention.
February 4, 2009 |
Tom Rider, who used to be a "barn man" for Ringling Bros., said that when he worked there in the late 1990s, he regularly saw handlers of the circus' endangered Asian elephants abusing the giant creatures. He said they used long, sharp-hooked poles, "hitting them in the legs, hooking them behind the ears" and leaving gashes the size of his finger. Ringling denies the allegations, saying it has never been cited for animal cruelty.
January 24, 2009
What's a trip to the zoo without a glimpse of an elephant? Increasingly common. Acknowledging that traditional elephant exhibits are inadequate to the point of cruelty -- small, spare, with foot-punishing floors -- zoos have chosen divergent directions. Some, including the Chicago, San Francisco and venerable Bronx zoos, are closing or making plans to close their elephant exhibits altogether.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 2008 |
Researchers have concluded that female elephants living in protected environments in Asia and Africa live longer than elephants in captivity in European zoos, saying that "bringing elephants into zoos profoundly impairs their viability." The study, to be released today in the journal Science, also found that for an Asian elephant -- the more endangered of the two elephant species -- being born in a zoo or separated from its mother at an early age can mean a shorter life.
November 25, 2008
Re "Elephant debate takes over L.A. council meeting," Nov. 20 If the so-called animal rights activists had not halted the creation of the "Pachyderm Forest," Billy the Asian elephant and several female companions would already be happily wallowing in their mud baths. Elke Heitmeyer Sherman Oaks