Thank you again for e-mailing Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and members of the City Council about elephant rides at the city's zoo.
However, the elephants still need your voice.
To date, the mayor and City Council continue to allow the elephant rides to take place, despite having received thousands of requests from citizens to ban the rides. The rides are cruel, allow elephants to be portrayed as mere attractions, and put the public's safety at risk. Ten years ago, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums strongly encouraged its members to discontinue public elephant rides in the interest of safety, and most zoos have stopped offering them.
About Santa Ana :
The city of Santa Ana is supporting the cruel treatment of elephants and putting public safety at risk by offering elephant rides at the city zoo.
Elephants used to give rides are trained and controlled with bullhooks—barbaric training devices that resemble a fireplace poker. Trainers use bullhooks to strike and jab elephants in the most sensitive parts of their bodies, often causing puncture wounds and abscesses. The constant threat of punishment keeps elephants afraid and submissive.
Ten years ago, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) strongly encouraged its members to discontinue public elephant rides in the interest of safety , and most zoos stopped offering them.
By continuing to give rides, the Santa Ana Zoo is acting more like a circus than an accredited zoo. In addition, the city of Santa Ana is out of step with the rest of Orange County, which has a very progressive ordinance banning public contact—including rides—with elephants.
The elephants used for rides at the Santa Ana Zoo are provided by Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT), a company that rents elephants out for rides, photo shoots, weddings, and ridiculous reality television shows. Not only does HTWT use bullhooks to control elephants, it also defended the cruel use of electric prods in comments it made about changes in federal policy regarding elephant training and handling practices.
Many people—including children—have been injured after stressed elephants have snapped and run amok. An elephant on loan from HTWT to the Denver Zoo created havoc when she went on a rampage, threw her trainer against a wall, scattered crowds of zoogoers, and knocked over a mother and her baby, who was in a stroller. It took three hours to recapture the elephant.
Please contact Santa Ana's mayor and city council members and ask them to protect elephants and public safety by banning elephant rides in the city of Santa Ana.
In addition, Santa Ana is out of step with a great portion of Orange County, which is subject to a very progressive resolution banning public contact—including rides—with elephants.
*** Please join me in calling the office of the mayor and City Council at 714-647-6900.
Urge Santa Ana officials to put an end to elephant rides at the city's zoo immediately !