Wondering where Billy will go if he is released from the Los Angels Zoo?
Check out PAWS Sanctuary in San Andreas where Billy will live out the rest of his days in the company of other elephants (PAWS is Home to 6 Asian and 4 African Elephants), varied natural terrain to roam, lakes to bathe in, and state-of-the-art elephant barns equipped with heated stalls and therapeutic Jacuzzis.
Another elephant from the Los Angeles zoo, Ruby (see photo to left) is now living happily ever after in this 2,300 acre haven, we hope to have Billy join her there.
Panoramic views of the African Elephant habitat can be seen on PAWS website by clicking HERE.
Panoramic views of the Asian Elephant habitat can be seen on PAWS website by clicking HERE.
Since 1968, the LA Zoo has documented 14 deaths of elephants that have resided at the zoo. The zoo has experienced many problems with keeping captive elephants, but the overriding problem and the leading cause of death to all those elephants has been chronic foot sores, abscesses, arthritis, and joint disease from being confined in an enclosure that is too small for these massive land mammals.
In the wild, elephants walk miles every day. Subjecting elephants to only a 3 or 4 acre enclosure prohibits them from the amount of daily exercise they require to maintain a healthy life. Billy is already showing symptoms of mental and physical injury from his confinement in his small enclosure. Sending Billy to a sanctuary and eliminating elephants from the zoo will allow the $42 million in funding to be used for other grazing animals like the giraffes and the gazelles. Redirecting the funding will provide more space for other zoo inhabitants and will allow several other animal exhibits to be renovated and improved. Closing the elephant exhibit will be a win for the elephants and a win for all the other zoo animals. Don't let Billy become number 15. Call 311 and voice your concern now.
Visitors at the Los Angeles Zoo, adults and children alike, comment on the sad, repetitive behavior of the Zoo's lone elephant, Billy, as he incessantly bobs his head up and down, day in and day out, a pitiable display in response to his lonely and unnatural existence.
Elephants do not naturally live in isolation and require social interaction with other elephants, yet Billy has been alone for more than three years. Turning a blind eye to his suffering, the L.A. Zoo is instead focused on an outrageously expensive, and taxpayer-funded, elephant exhibit renovation that will take almost two years to complete, and will only provide 3.5 acres, subdivided into four yards, for the earth's largest land mammals. The planned barn can hold as many as 10 elephants. (The Zoo may initially hold fewer elephants but plans to breed.)
Like other urban zoos across the country, L.A. Zoo is unable to provide the vast acreage needed by elephants, who can walk tens of miles a day in the wild and have home ranges of 120 square miles or more. Billy provides a clear example of how zoos put business interests far above the welfare of elephants.
We are very close to freeing Billy and stopping the practice of keeping elephants at L.A. Zoo.
New information was brought to light that was not presented to the L.A. City Council when they voted in 2006 to approve funding for the exhibit renovation. Council members were not aware of the zoo's tragic record of thirteen dead elephants since 1975 or the fact that more than half of those elephants did not live to age 20. An elephant's natural lifespan is 60 to 70 years. They also were not provided the entire fiscal picture, including the projected yearly cost of maintaining elephants at L.A. Zoo. If the zoo were to hold eight elephants, it would cost the already cash-strapped City of L.A. about $1 million per year just to care for them.
Based on the above, Councilmember Tony Cardenas presented a motion in October that would stop the L.A. Zoo's elephant exhibit renovation and send its only elephant, Billy, to a sanctuary. The motion was heard by the full L.A. City Council on November 19th, and now goes to the Budget & Finance Committee for further discussion in the first week of December. It will then return to the full council that same week for a final vote.
More than ever, we need your help to rescue Billy, who has been living in solitary confinement at L.A. Zoo for more than two years. Elephants are highly social animals, including the males, making Billy's confinement all the more inhumane. Billy displays zoochotic behavior, repetitively bobbing his head up and down, a result of stress and boredom. This behavior is not seen in wild elephants.
Please visit our How To Help page to find out what you can do for Billy.