Following days of multiple requests by advocates requesting photographic documentation of Bamboo and Chai at the San Diego Zoo, on Monday the Woodland Park Zoo posted an update and short video of the elephants in their temporary holding facility.
Months of Intense Campaigning and Lawsuits Preceded the Botched Transfer
After the WPZ announced late last year that the zoo would close its elephant exhibit following the premature death of African elephant Watoto in August, activists redoubled their years-long efforts to send surviving elephants Chai and Bamboo to a sanctuary. Despite the fact that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and a majority of City Council urged the zoo to consider retiring the elephants to a sanctuary, the zoo announced in February that it would send them to Oklahoma City Zoo (OCZ).
The Seattle Times newspaper steadfastly supported sanctuary in multiple editorials, and Friends of Lucy published an article in The Dodo on March 9, outlining the seven primary reasons why the OCZ was unsuitable for Chai and Bamboo.
Prior to Chai and Bamboo's ill-fated, and many would argue botched, transfer last week, FOWPZE/Elephant Justice Project filed two lawsuits against the WPZ. Both suits requested an injunction to keep the elephants in Seattle, the injunctions were denied; however the lawsuit in federal court can still go forward.