$42 Million For Elephants

California's budget is at critical mass, so why is the state spending millions on an elephant enclosure?

That's a good question, and it's now up for debate.

The Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote today on whether to scrap a new elephant enclosure at the Los Angeles Zoo.

The "Pachyderm Forest" is about 30 percent complete, and is budgeted to cost $42 million. The plan is to create a 6-acre site complete with pools, mud holes, and a waterfall. It would increase the size of the current elephant exhibit by seven fold.

But a city budget committee is recommending that construction be stopped because of L-A's budget troubles. And animal rights activists and celebrities argue that the new exhibit would still be too confining and depressing for elephants. They want the zoo's elephant exhibit dropped entirely.

The Los Angeles Zoo has a history of elephant problems. Officials say about a dozen have died since 1968.


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  • by bigfanx Location: Midwest USA on Dec 3, 2008 at 06:05 PM
    The LA Zoo states the funds...all 42 MIL.. was voter approved...!!! There's still one elephant in the current OLD exhibit.. his name is Billy. He's an Asian male about 23 yrs old, captured from the wild in 1985. He's been in an entertainment venue all of his life. The zoo is basically an entertainment venue, agreed? Billy deserves more than this zoo can ever provide. He's alone now...Ruby, a female, was relocated to a sanctuary in May 2007. GITA, a female, died over 2 yrs ago because of captivity-related foot and arthritis issues. Is this the same thing in Billy's future? He's exhibiting behavior known only to be witnessed of captive elephants, head-bobbing and swaying. Being on concrete for a solid 14 yrs, I'm sure Billy's feet are messed up too. Doesn't Billy deserve the company of other elephants? Does he deserve to the opportunity to live the life an elephant should experience? YES.. let him go to a sanctuary... that's THE BEST the LA Zoo could do for Billy.
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane on Dec 3, 2008 at 03:50 PM
    Where are all the bleeding heart hollywood types that promote animales well fare.
  • by Mouth of the Hood Location: Greenville on Dec 3, 2008 at 01:00 PM
    I swear animals and criminals get the best treatment in this country. The people are left to grind in the system but elephants can get their crib pimped out for a cool 42 million. Meanwhile banks are preyin on the less informed and housing are gettin takin away from women and kids. America is a great place but it's gotta clean up it's back yard 1st b4 we tackle ne thing else around the world.
  • by Dwayne Location: Greenville on Dec 3, 2008 at 08:14 AM
    Given them a choice between 42mil for abortion clinics or the elephants. They (the clueless liberals) will torch the elephants in a minute.
  • by Chris Location: Greenville on Dec 3, 2008 at 07:54 AM
    Here is an idea.. Scrap the elephant enclosure, save the money for a rainy day and we can all call it even! On a side note, how do you bury a elephant anyway? I imagine it takes a big shovel to dig all of that dirt!
  • by Tracy Location: NB on Dec 3, 2008 at 07:37 AM
    I never support zoos. I hate to see animals confined to those small enclosures. They should leave them in the wild where they belong.
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