Group Wants Elephants Ruth And Emily Removed From Buttonwood Park Zoo
A Facebook page that's been created to Send Ruth & Emily to The Elephant Sanctuary is hoping to gain support from candidates that are running for the open New Bedford Ward 5 City Councilor seat. The site complains about the conditions at the elephant exhibit at the Buttonwood Park Zoo (located in Ward 5 New Bedford)...stating that the elephants spend up to 16 hours a day in the confined space of their concrete barn...and up to 20 hours a day during the winter. Instead, supporters want the two elephants sent to a 2,700 acre "elephant sanctuary" in Tennessee that claims to have rescued 24 elephants that were "abused" at zoos. The Facebook page lists some Ward 5 candidates that agree that Ruth and Emily deserve to be retired. On that list were: Jan Baptist, John Radcliffe, Kerry Winterson, and Nancy Feeney, along with Councilor at Large candidates: Naomi Carney, Leo Choquette, Ralf Rho, and Ian Abreau.
They have created a Youtube video which outlines their case. The video says that zoo elephants have a dramatically shorter life span than those that live in the wild.
New Bedford Animal Control Officer Manny Maciel disagrees with the sentiment that the elephants are being mistreated in any way. Maciel says he's personally responded to complaints that were called into his office, and that to date he's never found anything that suggest the animals are not routinely cared for. "The MSPCA has also been to the zoo...and they found nothing wrong, either," Maciel said.