tagged w/ Dallas Zoo
The oldest gorilla in captivity, a 55-year-old female named Jenny, has died at the Dallas Zoo — her home for more than half a century, a spokesman said Friday.
Zoo officials decided to euthanize Jenny on Thursday night because of an inoperable tumor in her stomach. Jenny had stopped eating and drinking recently, and tests showed she was unlikely to recover, spokesman Sean Greene said.
Jenny's keepers described her as very sweet though a little bossy.
"If she doesn't want to go out on a certain day, she doesn't," Todd Bowsher, curator of the zoo's Wilds of Africa exhibit, said in May, when the zoo held a birthday bash to celebrate Jenny's longevity. "But she really likes people."
The International Species Information System, which maintains records on animals at 700 institutions around the world, confirmed earlier this year that Jenny was the oldest gorilla in its database.
Jenny was born in the wild and was acquired by the zoo in 1957. She gave birth in 1965 to a female named Vicki, and officials aren't sure why she didn't conceive again. Vicki was sent to a Canadian zoo at age 5.
At the time of Jenny's death she was one of five gorillas at the Dallas Zoo.
Story continued at link...The oldest gorilla in captivity, a 55-year-old female named Jenny, has died at the... more
4 years ago
A pitched controversy over the Dallas Zoo's last remaining elephant took an unexpected turn Wednesday when zoo officials recommended that the animal remain in Dallas and that a new 4-acre elephant habitat be fast-tracked for completion.
Jenny, a troubled African elephant who has lived at the Dallas Zoo for 22 years, would be too traumatized by a planned move to a zoo in Mexico, officials told the Dallas City Council.
For weeks, animal rights activists have staged protests over the plan to send Jenny to Mexico and have urged council members to send her instead to a private nature sanctuary in Tennessee.
Paul Dyer, director of the Dallas Park and Recreation department, said Jenny's health, not the protests, drove the decision to keep her here.
"She's very happy right now. She's doing well, and she seems to be comfortable and secure," Mr. Dyer said.
Jenny's mental state has long been a concern for her keepers. The 32-year-old elephant spent the first 10 years of her life in the hands of an abusive owner and has a long history of psychological trouble.
The death in May of Keke, the zoo's other elephant and Jenny's longtime companion, raised concerns that Jenny's mental state would again decline.
That propelled the decision to move her to a facility with other elephants.
Now, the zoo plans to seek another female elephant to join Jenny as soon as possible, Mr. Dyer said.
The elephants would live together in the zoo's elephant exhibit, estimated by Mr. Dyer to measure less than a quarter of an acre.
Zoo officials also will accelerate plans to build a larger $10 million elephant habitat that could house as many as four elephants, Mr. Dyer said.
The habitat, part of a new $40 million African Savanna exhibit, will be completed in spring 2010 rather than mid-2012 as planned, he said.
Any hopes that Wednesday's announcement would quiet critics were quickly snuffed by Margaret Morin, leader of a group called Concerned Citizens for Jenny.
Ms. Morin's group and other activists have sent City Council members hundreds, if not thousands, of protest letters since the plan to send Jenny to Mexico was announced.
The group's conclusion that Jenny should go to Tennessee – a sanctuary that does not admit the general public – hasn't changed, Ms. Morin said.
Despite the staff's initial support for the Mexican zoo, known as Africam, protesters won the support of two City Council members, Angela Hunt and Mitchell Rasansky.
In July, Ms. Hunt traveled to Mexico and Tennessee to view both facilities. She returned with the conclusion that the Tennessee facility was far superior and that Jenny should be transferred there.
Both Ms. Hunt and Mr. Rasansky were angry Wednesday at news the city had suddenly changed course and that a move to Tennessee is unlikely to be considered by the council.
Ms. Hunt said she doesn't believe the city will be able to complete the new elephant habitat in the accelerated time frame. In the meantime, Jenny, and possibly a second elephant, will have to live on a tiny plot at the zoo, she said.
"I don't buy that we're looking out for the best interest of this elephant," she said.
Mr. Rasansky called the plan to keep Jenny here a "cop-out," saying the elephant is sick and needs to be removed to the peace of a sanctuary.
Despite that opposition, Mayor Tom Leppert said he is confident a majority of the council will approve the plan.
He praised the decision as the right move and stressed that Jenny's future was never an either/or decision between Mexico and Tennessee.
Dallas Zoo director Gregg Hudson said the decision stemmed from three factors: space, companionship for Jenny and quality of care.
The new elephant exhibit, meanwhile, will be top tier, he promised.
A pitched controversy over the Dallas Zoo's last remaining elephant took an... more
The traders at Dallas County's half-filled horse auction knew the fate of their scrawny thoroughbreds even before they herded them into the ring. At least half of the horses for auction at the Dallas County Horse Sales last month were likely to end up in Mexico, where money can still be made off horse slaughter. About 25,000 horses have been shipped to Mexico for slaughter this year. And it wasn't to go back to the ranch.
The ones with visible backbones and skin stretched over their ribs – at least half of the 36 horses for sale – would probably end up in Mexico, where money can still be made off horse slaughter.
Horse owners say they're left with little option but to sell their horses to a "KILLER BUYER," or trader who buys the horses at a reduced price and takes them to Mexico for slaughter. "It's a CREED among Texan traders: We know we HAVE to do it; we just don't say," Mr. Oden said.
About 25,000 horses have been shipped to Mexico for slaughter this year, 10,000 more than this time last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The number of horses sent from Texas has doubled during the same period and makes up the majority of the shipments.
"KILLER BUYERS" purchase weak horses cheaply and transport them across the border, a process that has become more clandestine but also more popular since Congress banned the slaughter of horses for human consumption in 2007. --- The number of horses crossing the border has grown SIX times since then.. in Texas, shipments to Mexico are EASY..
Before the ban, up to 100,000 horses were slaughtered annually. Much of the meat went overseas to countries like FRANCE and JAPAN where horse appears on menus as a delicacy.
Still, advocates haven't stopped their fight to extend the ban. That includes Texas oilman and rancher T. Boone Pickens and his wife, Madeleine, who lassoed enough support to propel the first ban on slaughtering horses for human consumption. "We'll try to figure out how to get this stopped," the Dallas billionaire said about the shipments to Mexico. Economic difficulties are no excuse, he said.
"It's a killing job, and that's not much of a deal as far as I'm concerned."
Barbara Linke of the American Quarter Horse Association, which advocates humane slaughter over starvation, said she fears an extended ban could bring about more neglect.
"I think we are going to see a lot more cases of animal cruelty and a lot more horses abandoned if the bill passes," Ms. Linke said.
'Nothing will change' says Tom Lenz, a veterinarian and chairman of the Unwanted Horse Coalition, said buyers will find a way to get horses across the border even with tougher laws.
"KILLER BUYERS will simply ship them as riding horses and then resell them for slaughter across the border," he said. "Nothing will change."
Instead, the horse industry should avoid an overabundance by learning to breed more selectively, he said. Last year, the Unwanted Horse Coalition reported 170,000 abandoned horses throughout the country.
"We need to deal more with the front end, decreasing horse production," Dr. Lenz said. Few horse owners choose euthanasia because of the expense, he said. It can cost at least $100 for a shot, and that doesn't include disposal fees. ---Mr. Finch said putting horses to sleep is still more humane than slaughter, an argument shared by many animal rights activists.
"We don't slaughter and eat our dogs," he said. "A lot of people think horses are just livestock. They aren't."
The traders at Dallas County's half-filled horse auction knew the fate of their... more
Please act to stop the Dallas zoo from sending Jenny, the elephant, to a small amusement park in Mexico. There will be NO U.S. Animal Welfare or Anti-Cruelty Laws covering Jenny in Mexico. Several SANCTUARIES will take Jenny! Please X-POST!
PLEASE read Jenny's story:
On Tuesday, the Dallas Morning News ran a story entitled "Dallas Zoo's lone elephant to be moved to wildlife refuge in Mexico" about the zoo's controversial decision to dump Jenny, a 31-year-old African elephant, at a safari amusement park in Mexico . Since the death of Jenny's elephant companion, Keke (39), in May, Concerned Citizens for Jenny has urged the zoo to send Jenny to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.
The Mexican park offers an unnatural, confining exhibit of only 4.9 acres --a small fraction of the 2,700-acre Elephant Sanctuary, where Jenny would share a spacious, 300-acre natural habitat with three other African elephants.
It is shocking that the Dallas Zoo is moving Jenny to a distant facility in a foreign country where she will not be protected by U.S. animal welfare and anti-cruelty laws, especially when there is a nearby U.S. facility with hundreds of acres that is prepared to take her.
After being torn from her mother's side in Africa at the age of two, she was forced into seven years of brutal training. Jenny has been at the Dallas Zoo for 22 years, where she has had a traumatic and troubled stay. Between 1996 and 2001, the Dallas Zoo medicated her with the tranquilizer Acepromazine because of aggression and self-mutilating behaviors. Federal regulators characterized Jenny's long-term treatment with this psychotropic drug as "highly unconventional."
While African elephants in the wild are known to reproduce into their 50s and live into their 60s, in zoos they commonly die decades short of their natural time. In short, the Dallas Zoo's decision is a matter of life and death for Jenny.
The sanctuaries who will accept Jenny have thousands of acres versus 4.9 acres at the Safari Amusement Park. The 4.9 acres is likely subdivided so Jenny may actually have far less space than that. However, the Elephant Sanctuary in TN ( http://www.elephants.com/) is a state of the art, 2,700 acre elephant refuge. It is the largest natural habitat refuge in the world and has a four star charity rating from Charity Navigator. The PAWS Sanctuary ( http://www.pawsweb.org/) in California has hundreds of acres and is also a state of the art, internationally recognized facility. Both U.S. sanctuaries are excellent and Jenny should be able to retire to one of these.
Please act to stop the Dallas zoo from sending Jenny, the elephant, to a small... more