|Elephant Moratorium (for a few years, at least)
||[Dec. 9th, 2004|05:15 am]
San Francisco City Hall
From the SF Examiner:
[comments from androgy]
No elephants will be allowed at the San Francisco Zoo until it provides a 15-acre enclosure for the pachyderms and completely refurbishes habitats for its bears, rhinos, hippos, grey seals and sea lions, following a 10-1 vote by the Board of Supervisors. [vote was on december 7, 2004]
The Tuesday move follows several months of hearings and debate [supervisor dufty seemed less than happy to sit through all these meetings] after the death of two of the zoo's four elephants earlier this year, which animal activists blamed on tight quarters and poor living conditions. One of the remaining elephants has been relocated to a sanctuary in San Andreas, and the other is to join it there soon.
The new conditions on the zoo were a slight retreat from an outright ban favored by Supervisor Matt Gonzalez, who agreed to the amendments and dropped a proposal to put the Animal Care and Control Department in charge of monitoring conditions at the zoo. The board instead approved a compromise that puts the agency's director on a zoo oversight panel. [so the zoo oversight panel is now seven members instead of six]
The compromise, over the protests of the zoo's board and Director Manuel Mollinedo, was called a "virtual ban" by Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who opposed the measure. [Elsbernd was upset because he thought that the 15-acre requirement was too strict.] Animal rights advocates, though, heralded the vote as precedent-setting.