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April 13, 2012


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so sad. I love Packy.

The Portland Zoo eats ass.

Chained and whipped. Nice life. This zoo will never see a penny from this pincher.

I've NEVER seen Packy chained or whipped! You sound like a PETA FREAK to me! Hell, it'd be dead long ago and hacked to death by poachers with machetes if she was still in Africa or wherever! The care they get at the zoo is much more humane than in the wild! IMHO!

If Packy and parents had a choice, which would they choose? I too will not go to the zoo or donate money. What fun--seeing creatures in cages. Not as bad as when Packy was born though. I'm horrified when I see the family movie zoo footage from the early '60s.

Yep, this does come across as being just a bit PETAish.

Elephants kept mostly on cement and in a limited ranging area, such as what the Oregon Zoo provides, suffer severe physical and psychological impact - foot and bone problems, etc. Read a bit about how much natural range an elephant needs and what is provided at the zoo will seem pathetic by comparison. Managing elephants is a skill and, in particular, bull elephants in musth. The public doesn't see much of this handling because Packy and his sire, Thonglaw, were/are isolated for safety's sake. In general, the elephant cows are peaceful but I cannot believe they are truly happy, considering the natural life as a family herd that they cannot truly experience behind bars.

Well, that's one of the problems with blogs in this country - anybody can start one, and you don't have to be worried about little things like accuracy.

A few points to consider:

Portland Zoological Gardens was one of the first in the world to construct elephant facilities such that the animals did not have to be confined on chains.

The zoo was the first in the world to construct an hydraulic restraint chute for elephants; allowing veterinary care and routine nail trimming to be conducted without anesthesia. Widely ridiculed at the time as unworkable, elephant restraint chutes are now globally used.

The zoo's elephant care staff in years past have assisted in the design of facilities for elephants in Tacoma, California, New Jersey, and the sanctuary facility at Hohenwald Tennessee, to which styro above refers.

Another little-known fact regarding elephants: unlike humans, they don't jog. They don't go out and run for no reason; when they do run, we refer to it as a stampede. The problem, therefore, is not how much room they are given; rather, the salient issue involves finding ways to encourage them to use the space available. Absent that, you can give them acres of space, and all they'll do is hang next to the barn.

You see, that's one of the problems that many people have when considering elephants: they actually aren't very large people; they have very different priorities.

People, for example, almost never throw hay or dirt onto their heads and backs. Elephants do. People, of course, who pretend to know everything, explain it as a means of providing insulation. So why do they do it in a barn heated to 72 degrees?

Well, it's done to keep insects at bay. So why do they do it in the dead of winter, outdoors?

My guess is that they do it because they can't get the stuff to jump up there by itself.

Packy has been known to break through two inches of ice to go swimming in February. Where megaherbivores are involved, a prime concern is getting rid of excess heat - they have great mass and comparatively little surface area; thus, while you may think it insane to paddle around for 20 minutes in a pool in the middle of February, it may suit the elephant just fine.

One final note, as this comment is already far beyond my norm: the next time you enjoy a walk along the Wildwood Trail in Portland's Forest Park, pause for a moment to give thanks to the elephants from Portland Zoological Gardens - for they hauled the trees out during construction of the trail.

Fifty years of hell? You don't know squat.

I'm convinced. Maybe we should eat Packy? Talk about a fund raiser.

How much have we learned about elephant conservation by observation in a zoo setting?

Yes it's somewhat inhumane to keep animals in a zoo. But it's more inhumane to slaughter them just for one part of their body. Or as in Thailand, slaughter them because they're thought to be pests when they accidentally destroy fields while simply walking around.

No... right now in this point in human history, Zoos are the best place for animals. It's by far the best long term protection for them.

There is one simple way to see for yourself how Packy, Rose-Tu, Tusko, Sumadra, Shine and Rama are faring in the zoo. Go there and watch them. You will see that they pace constantly or bob their heads, or simply stand and stare through the bars. Now go to any youtube video of the elephants at the Tennessee elephant sancutary or PAWS in California and watch how those elephants behave. They bellow, they play, they interact affectionately with each other, and yes, they explore their entire 3000 some acres. They do not stand around and stare or bob their heads in utter boredom. One horse needs an acre of land. A herd of seven elephants need considerably more. This is obvious. All you have to do is observe for yourself. Packy's life in the zoo is hell. And yes, elephants do get killed in the wild, for their tusks usually, and sometimes they are culled because there is not enough open habitat for them even in the wilds of Africa for instance. But the answer is not to keep breeding them and confining them to small enclosures that can never meet their needs. The answer is to release them to sanctuary, as San Francisco and the Detroit Zoo did and to use all the money that is now being spent on zoo habitats to restore and create new habitats in Asia and Africa. Difficult yes, impossible I think not. Free Packy to the preserve we paid for now. He's given 50 years of his life to the people of Oregon. He deserves retirement.
Go to youtube and type in the search window: "When Elephants Dream" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltAGdojbOOM

The Oregonian sure knows something more than squat. They burned the Zoo big time over the treatment of elephants including Packy. Try reading a newspaper Max.



I grew up in the SF Bay Area in the 50's & 60's , & went to the Fleishacker Zoo many times over the years. I don't recall their elephants ever being chained.

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