As Animal Rights Group Condemns Zoos for Elephant Treatment, a Nice Word About Dallas

Categories: News
elephantdallaszoo.jpg
Kevin Todora
It wasn't so long ago that Lily Tomlin, Bea Arthur, Ruth Buzzi and Emmylou Harris were among those demanding that the city of Dallas move Jenny the Elephant to the elephant sanctuary in Tennessee. But the city resisted, insisting that its then-forthcoming Giants of the Savanna habitat would quell all controversy.

And it would appear Parks and Rec director Paul Dyer was right: This morning, California-based In Defense of Animals released its annual list of the Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants, with San Antonio's topping the list. But at the bottom you'll note that the Dallas Zoo receives the organization's first-ever "Step in the Right Direction" Recognition:
IDA recognizes this zoo for a rare combination of positive factors: a moderate climate, use of humane "protected contact" handling, and policies that eschew breeding and include acquiring elephants from worse situations such as circuses. Elephants are not suited to urban zoos, but Dallas has gone farther than any other to improve welfare and it will not add to the number of elephants already living in inadequate conditions. Dallas' exhibit still isn't large enough for a species with home ranges measuring hundreds of square miles, but its policies put it in a class of its own.
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Amy S.
Amy S.

This makes me happy. Many people have worked very hard over the last 10 years to make serious improvements to our zoo. The new savannah exhibit is truly worth a visit to see the new elephant habitat.

Russp
Russp

It's good that Dallas Zoo has received this pat on the back. While zoos are often not the ideal situation for the animals, it is often the last refuge as more and more native habitat is destroyed by man's greed and ignorance.

M Streeter
M Streeter

I believe the Dallas Zoo's current elephant exhibit was planned before Leppert. He later "privatized" it.

tantor
tantor

"Elephants are not suited to urban zoos..."

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I totally agree with them about the SA Zoo. While they are making upgrades, that's always been a bad place for elephants. I remember taking elephant rides there as well. The thought of seeing that today and in that environment would disgust me. I guess it just goes to show how much changes in 20+ years.

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