The elephant debate continues UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 13, 2011

The elephant debate continues UPDATE

Posted By on Fri, May 13, 2011 at 12:38 PM

In Defense of Animals, an animals right group, has responded to City Manager Bruce Moore's defense of the Little Rock Zoo's decision to keep its one elephant, Ellen, and continue to try to find a companion for her, rather than shipping the aging animal to a sanctuary.

Here's the group's latest letter.

Here's the link that contains Moore's letter.

What do I think? I just don't know. I lean toward keeping Ellen where she's spent more than 50 years, though I'm sure I've anthropomorphized the issue. But I don't think you can write off In Defense's reasonable arguments as those of a wacky bunch of vegans. And I also don't think anyone can possibly say with certainty what Ellen prefers. If only.

UPDATE: A followup letter from IDA that corrects one point in the earlier letter, about the period one zoo took to find a companion for a solo elephant — four rather than eight years.


Hello Mr. Brantley,

Thank you for running IDA's letter regarding the Little Rock Zoo's elephant program. I also appreciate your comments. I assure you that I very seriously weighed the consequences of sending Ellen to a sanctuary, especially due to her age. And I spent some time conferring with experts before sending my initial letter. I think you're right that we can't know what's in an animal's thoughts, but we can look at the history of other animals who have been sent to sanctuaries and flourished. You don't live that far from The Elephant Sanctuary — it's about 5 hours away. You should visit there sometime.

I do have to make one correction to the letter I sent to you this morning. It contained a numerical error regarding the San Antonio Zoo and the length of time it took for them to acquire a second elephant. In fact, it took the zoo more than four years (not eight). Obviously, this remains a significant amount of time for an elephant, who is a highly social animal, to be kept alone.

I'm attaching a corrected version of the letter, which I hope you can post. [Max's note: Rather than confuse the issue, I'm going to keep the original up and let this serve as the correction.] It has also been sent to the city manager, board of directors and mayor. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Catherine Doyle
Elephant Campaign Director
In Defense of Animals

Tags: , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (60)

Showing 1-50 of 60

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-50 of 60

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Where's the outrage?

    Am I the only person, apart from federal prosecutors, outraged about the criminal enterprise that inveigled itself into a privileged position as an Arkansas taxpayer-financed human services provider to the tune, today, of $43 million a year?
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Where's the outrage?

    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Rutledge opponent hits her socializing with corporate interests

    Mike Lee, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, has criticized Attorney General Leslie Rutledge over recent reports of her participation at private meetings where corporate interests make big contributions to a political group she heads for access to state legal officers.
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansas Supreme Court refuses to rehear invalidation of marijuana act

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today denied a request to rehear its decision invalidating Issue 7, the medical marijuana initiated act.
    • Nov 3, 2016
  • ADEQ denies C&H Hog Farm permit

    The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has denied a new permit for the C&H Hog Farms' concentrated animal feeding operation near Mount Judea (Newton County). This is a big and somewhat surprising victory for critics who have viewed C&H's large-scale pig farm and the pig waste it generates as an existential threat to the Buffalo National River.
    • Jan 10, 2018
  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation