Target: L.A. Zoo Director John R. Lewis
Goal: Release Billy the Elephant from his undersized habitat to a rescue sanctuary.
Billy the Elephant’s habitat in L.A. is cramped, not very well supported, and has led to development issues with Billy, as he now shows signs of physical and mental stress along with possible depression. He has been a part of the L.A. zoo since 1989, since he was first taken from his home environment in Malaysia as a baby. After being sold to the Los Angeles Zoo, it was documented that he, along with three female elephants, were chained overnight and regularly trained with electric shocks. During this time, two of the female elephants died from neglect, and the third has since been released to a sanctuary.
Billy doesn’t have any companions to play with and his habitat is far too small for an animal of such great magnitude. Elephants are one of the few animals in the world that can die of a broken heart from loneliness, so it’s time that the L.A. Zoo release Billy to a wildlife sanctuary that cares for other elephants so he can be with companions.
Elephants are very social animals and it’s important for them to be around other elephants so they can maintain healthy physical and mental relationships. However, because Billy has been alone for so many years, there’s no doubt he’s withering away in his enclosure, longing for some relief. At this rate, Billy is at risk of winding up with the same fate as the other elephants at the zoo who are believed to have died prematurely from stressful conditions.
The public has already been outraged enough to file a lawsuit that the L.A. Zoo responded to by promising a bigger, better structure for the elephant. However, the new enclosure is still very small and keeps Billy away from the other elephants at the zoo. Demand that Billy be sent to an appropriate wildlife sanctuary before it is too late.
Dear Director Lewis,
Billy is one of the most remarkable animals in the entire world, with a certain power and grace that only comes from animals of that stature–so why on Earth is he being confined to a cage and kept away from his fellow elephants? The conditions in which Billy lives are absolutely unacceptable for an animal of his size. Billy has been actively showing signs of stress, such as head bobbing and running into walls on purpose.
Even with his new enclosure, Billy still shows these signs of stress and isolation. Moving him to a slightly bigger box was not successful, so it is time to take the next step. Billy needs to be transferred to a wildlife sanctuary where he can graze the grass, exercise and interact with other elephants. It’s time to release Billy and stop subjecting him to such unfair conditions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Alex Ristea