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Orange and Brown flood Seattle City Council chambers

IMAGE: Supporters of the Woodland Park Zoo's elephant program, wearing brown, wait in line alongside advocates, wearing orange, who hope the elephnats retire to a sanctuary prior to a Seattle city council meeting on March 9, 2015. A 20 minute pubic comment period was allowed duing today's meeting where people from both sides expressed their views. (photo © Karen Ducey Photography)
March 9, 2015
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Elephants advocates on both sides of the issue face off outside Seattle City Council chambers on Monday, March 9, prior to a council meeting.  Supporters of the Woodland Park Zoo’s elephant program, wearing brown, wait in line alongside advocates, wearing orange, who hope the elephants, Chai and Bamboo, retire to a sanctuary. A 20 minute pubic comment period was allowed duing today’s meeting where people from both sides expressed their views. (photo © Karen Ducey Photography)

 

The Seattle City Council chambers were packed on Monday, March 3, with advocates on both sides voicing opinions about the fate of the Woodland Park Zoo’s two remaining Asian elephants, Chai and Bamboo.

Wearing brown tee shirts, supporters of the Woodland Park Zoo argued zoo programs are helpful for conservation purposes and that the Oklahoma City Zoo is a world class facility for Seattle’s elephants.

Supporters wishing the elephants would be retired to a sanctuary wore orange tee shirts and argued zoos are no place for the free roaming animals, especially Oklahoma City which boasts extreme temperatures that would result in more time locked in the barns.

Earlier in the day the Elephant Justice Project held a press conference announcing a new lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court against the Woodland Park Zoo claiming the city had no right to turn over ownership of Chai and Bamboo in 2002. The press release stated:

Knoll Lowney, an attorney for EJP, summarizes: “The lawsuit is powerful in its simplicity. The Legislature passed a law in 2000 that allowed the City to contract with the Zoo Society to operate and manage the zoo, but the City had no legal authority to give away all of the animals and equipment. Our state Constitution prohibits such gifts. The 2002 agreement giving Chai and Bamboo to the Zoo Society is illegal and unconstitutional, so the Zoo Society has no authority to decide their fate.”

The zoo has agreed not to move the elephants to Oklahoma before April 3rd when the court is expected to rule on the Elephant Justice Project’s motion for preliminary injunction.

The Elephant Justice Project also handed out documents alleging Chai and Bamboo are likely infected with the same herpes virus that killed Chai’s baby, seven-year-old Hansa, in 2007.  Watoto, an African elephant belonging to the Woodland Park Zoo until it died suddenly last year, also tested positive for the highly contagious virus according to papers.

A clip of the Seattle city council meeting can be heard here.

 

IMAGE: Supporters of the Woodland Park Zoo's elephant program, wearing brown, wait in line alongside advocates, wearing orange, who hope the elephnats retire to a sanctuary prior to a Seattle city council meeting on March 9, 2015. A 20 minute pubic comment period was allowed duing today's meeting where people from both sides expressed their views. (photo © Karen Ducey Photography)

Supporters of the Woodland Park Zoo’s elephant program, wearing brown, wait in line alongside advocates hoping the elephants retire to a sanctuary ,wearing orange prior to a Seattle city council meeting on March 9, 2015. A 20 minute pubic comment period was allowed during today’s meeting where people from both sides expressed their views. (photo © Karen Ducey Photography)

IMAGE: Alyne Fortgang, co-founder of friends of Woodland Park Zoo, implores people to respect each others views prior to the Seattle City Council meeting on March 9, 2015. Just prior she held a press conference press conference announcing they will try and stopWoodland Park Zoo elephants, Chai and Bamboo, from being sent to a sanctuary because both elephants have been exposed to the fatal herpes virus. (photo © Karen Ducey Photography)

Alyne Fortgang, co-founder of Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, implores people to respect each others views prior to the Seattle City Council meeting on March 9, 2015. Just prior she held a press conference press conference announcing they are filing a lawsuit against the Woodland Park Zoo alleging elephants, Chai and Bamboo, have been exposed to the fatal herpes virus, and need to retire to a sanctuary. (photo © Karen Ducey Photography)

 

IMAGE: Sharon Loosmore, a former docent at the Woodland Park Zoo, is a strong advocate for conservation and believes the Oklahoma City Zoo is the best possible place for them because they need to be in a herd. "I'm devastated that they have to go," she said. (photo © Karen Ducey Photography)

Sharon Loosmore, a former docent at the Woodland Park Zoo, is a strong advocate for conservation and believes the Oklahoma City Zoo is the best possible place for Chai and Bamboo because they need to be in a herd. “I’m devastated that they have to go,” she said. (photo © Karen Ducey Photography)

IMAGE: The Seattle City Council chamber was packed on Monday, March 9th, with a flood of people divided over the fate of Woodland Park Zoo elephants, Chai and Bamboo. Supporters who want the elephants to retire to a sanctuary wore orange tee shirts while those who were in favor of them staying within the zoo system wore brown. (photo © Karen Ducey Photography)

The Seattle City Council chamber was packed on Monday, March 9th, with a flood of people divided over the fate of Woodland Park Zoo elephants, Chai and Bamboo. Supporters who want the elephants to retire to a sanctuary wore orange tee shirts while those who were in favor of them staying within the zoo system wore brown. (photo © Karen Ducey Photography)Seattle City Hall

IMAGE: The Seattle City Council chamber was packed on Monday, March 9th, with a flood of people divided over the fate of Woodland Park Zoo elephants, Chai and Bamboo. Supporters who want the elephants to retire to a sanctuary wore orange tee shirts while those who were in favor of them staying within the zoo system wore brown. (photo © Karen Ducey Photography)

The Seattle City Council chamber was packed on Monday, March 9th, with a flood of people divided over the fate of Woodland Park Zoo elephants, Chai and Bamboo. Supporters who want the elephants to retire to a sanctuary wore orange tee shirts while those who were in favor of them staying within the zoo system wore brown. (photo © Karen Ducey Photograp

IMAGE: A press conference was held at the Seattle City Hall by the Elephant Justice Project announcing a new lawsuit filed against the Woodland Park Zoo. (photo © Karen Ducey Photography)

A press conference was held at the Seattle City Hall by the Elephant Justice Project announcing a new lawsuit filed against the Woodland Park Zoo. (photo © Karen Ducey Photography)

Related Articles:

Woodland Park Zoo Elephants Heading to Oklahoma City

Send elephants to sanctuary, animal welfare advocates urge zoo directors

Woodland Park Zoo to Close It’s Elephant Exhibit

Elephant Advocates Urge Council to Halt Zoo Funding

Elephant’s Death Sparks Letter to Seattle Mayor

Woodland Park Zoo Elephant Watoto Dies at 45

Judge Rules: Woodland Park Zoo can keep secrets

Elephant Advocates exit the Seattle City Council meeting disappointed

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Judge Rules: Woodland Park Zoo can decide elephant’s fate | Animal News Northwest - April 3, 2015

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