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Queenie Update

A recent report from the San Antonio Express-News (view here) indicates that Queenie, now called Boo to diffuse unpleasant publicity attached to the zoo's acquisition of Queenie, is finally allowed to "roam" the tiny yard at the San Antonio Zoo for three to four hours a day (see photo, right). She and Lucky, the zoo's other Asian elephant, are rotated into the yard during the seven or eight hours that the zoo is open because there is only one yard. Although this is an improvement for Queenie (Boo) who has been kept inside the tiny barn since her arrival a few months ago, it is a long stretch from "state of the art."

Lucky, the unlucky other elephant who must now share her drab prison with another inmate, is now confined to the barn three to four hours longer than she was before Queenie's (Boo's) arrival.

The "happy" spin on this arrangement is a credit to the local media and the zoo's public relations department, but continues to be an embarrassment to the beautiful City of San Antonio. Pithy quotes from zoo executive director Steve McCusker further demonstrate the lack of scientific expertise among the zoo's leaders.

"One of them will be dominant, and it will likely be Boo," said McCusker, and "It's Lucky's dirt and she may feel territorial," he goes on to say. Those two quotes inspire little confidence in the zoo's plan for socialization of the two elephants in the barren, totally inadequate facility.
 
Citizens of San Antonio, please lobby your mayor and city council to end this charade and allow both elephants the dignity of a decent retirement. The zoo has no formal plan to provide either elephant with the space and social environment essential to their well-being. Queenie and Lucky are incarcerated to satisfy the selfish whim of the most inept zoo director in the country.
 
MAYOR JULIAN CASTRO 
P. O. Box 839966San Antonio, TX 78283 
To phone or email Mayor Castro or City Council members, please use this link for additional information. 
 
Letters to USDA Secretary Vilsack, Congress and the President, have drawn attention to Queenie's plight and to the uninformed policies of USDA/APHIS. The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) lobbied the USDA to allow confiscated and consent decision animals to go only to facilities accredited by them. Queenie's sentence was a direct result of AZA's lobbying in Washington.
 
We insist that criteria be developed for placement of seized and consent decision animals that will exceed AZA's pathetic standards that declare the tiny, barren yard and barn in San Antonio, "state of the art." Obviously, allowing AZA foxes to guard the hen house is disastrous for animal welfare.
 
We were alarmed on reading an internal document produced by AZA and presented to the Obama administration that states, "APHIS has given unreasonable weight to anonymous, unverified complaints, often generated by outside-the-mainstream activist groups."
 
The confiscations of Tina and Jewel and other elephants from circuses, were generated by well-verified complaints from activists who are not outside the mainstream. AZA has done nothing to assist in alleviating the suffering of circus animals, and they are seeking to undermine the efforts of those who are dedicated to animal welfare. AZA often collaborates with circuses in captive breeding programs and endorses the use of bull hooks to manage elephants.
 
Please forward this e-alert to your local legislators and request a hearing by Congress and the Senate on enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act. Do not allow AZA and the circus community to dictate the policies of the USDA!
 
 
"Let Elephants Roam": This letter, regarding Boo (Queenie), written by former employees of the San Antonio Zoo, appeared in yhe Opinion section of the June 10, 2010 issue of the San Antonio Express-News. To read, click here
To view ABC affiliate, KSAT12's report on Queenie's first day on display, click here.
 
 
We urge Queenie's loyal fans and supporters to continue to write to 

Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack.

 

Mr. Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20250

Phone: 202-720-3631
Fax: 202-720-2166 
Email: agsec@usda.gov

 

 

Write letters to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry's two ranking Senate committee members. They can be the same text, but it has been suggested each member should receive their own letter.

 

U.S. Senate Committee On Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry

Attn: Chairman Blanche Lincoln

328A Senate Russell Office Bldg.

Washington, D. C. 20510

Email Chairman Lincoln: click here.

 

U.S. Senate Committee On Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry

Attn: Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss

328A Senate Russell Office Bldg.

Washington, D. C. 20510

Email Senator Chambliss: click here

 

Write letters to your Congressional representative.

 

In addition, write to the President!

 

The Honorable Barack Obama

President of the United States

The White House

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

 


 

 

 





PAWS
Performing Animal Welfare Society
PO Box 849, Galt, CA 95632

(209) 745-2606 office/shelter
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