Why Are Baby Elephants Being Sold to Enterntainment Companies?
- by Alicia Graef
- December 6, 2012
- 11:30 amLast week Rose-tu, an Asian elephant at the Oregon Zoo, made headlines for giving birth to a healthy 300 pound baby girl who is now the center of a campaign to find her a name and a controversy over her future.“The outpouring support for the zoo and its newest resident has been incredible,” said Kim Smith, zoo director. “Rose-Tu and her calf are doing well. They’re bonding and comfortable with each other. Now it’s time to give the calf a name that suits her.”What the zoo failed to tell everyone was that they don’t own this little one. According to the Seattle Times, the newborn is property of Have Trunk Will Travel, a private company that “rents out pachyderms to the entertainment industry, stages circus like events and offers elephant rides at $500 an hour.”It’s part of a deal the zoo struck with company in 2005 to give them Rose-Tu’s second, fourth and sixth calves. The zoo initially denied any such deal until confronted by the Times with a copy of the contract, then they were all, “oh, that contract” and issued a statement:The contract is valid. As per the agreement, official designation of ownership takes effect after the calf has lived 30 days. Once that happens, the Oregon Zoo will be in discussion with Have Trunk Will Travel regarding ownership, and it is the zoo’s intent to retain Rose-Tu’s calf.On Tuesday, Oregon Zoo director Kim Smith called a press conference to deal with the controversy generated by the Seattle Times, reports King 5.“They can’t come here and take an animal,” she said. “The zoo and Have Trunk have a positive relationship and the company also wants to have the calf remain at the zoo.”Even if the zoo wants to keep her, they already signed away their rights. If Have Trunk Will Travel wants to take her, they can.
You can read the rest of the article here along with viewing a video of how Have Trunk Will Travel treats these magnificent creatures.