A Plea for Sanctuary for Two Aging Elephants in a Massachusetts Zoo

Sign the Petition Below and Pass it on to your Friends

More than 220,000 Going on 300,000 have already Signed!

A Call-Out for Humane Action from the animal advocacy group ‘Friends of Ruth & Emily

Posted March 28th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Intro Note from Niagara At Large – If you follow NAL on a regular basis, you know that we care a great deal for the welfare of all creatures on this planet, great and small. In that spirit, we are posting this.)

Buttonwood Park Zoo: Please Allow Ruth & Emily to be Relocated to The Elephant Sanctuary

Ruth and Emily are aging Asian elephants living in deplorable conditions at the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford, Massachusetts. They endure extreme heat/cold and live in an enclosure that would be much too small for a single elephant. Both elephants, especially Ruth, regularly display behavioral patterns consistent with extreme stress.

Ruth and Emily

Even by the lowest of standards, Ruth and Emily are incompatible- a violation of the USDA’s Animal Welfare Act.

Emily has attacked Ruth over 30 times and has been seen ramming, biting, and tusking Ruth, leaving lacerations. In 2006, Emily bit off 6.5 inches of Ruth’s tail.

The Buttonwood Zoo has documented these attacks, but instead of granting Ruth the life she deserves at the Elephant Sanctuary, they falsely claim that Ruth is now too fragile to relocate. 

Ruth is 56-58 years old. In the wild, she would be coming into her own as a matriarch of her herd. Instead, Ruth was taken from her mother as early as age 1 and shipped to Bensons Animal Farm, where she was trained by a circus elephant trainer named Silvers Madison.

In 1978, she was sold to Brian Watson, who used her for parties, parades, and commercials. There is substantial evidence that Watson beat Ruth. Eventually, all of his animals were confiscated. Watson then stole his animals back, including Ruth, whom he had loaded onto a trailer. After his vehicle broke down, he left Ruth at a waste transfer station in Danvers, MA. She was found two days later, still chained to the trailer. Ruth then made her way to the Buttonwood Park Zoo. 

 Emily was taken from Thailand at age 3. She first lived at the Southwick Zoo before being purchased by the city of New Bedford in 1968. She spent her time in an unheated barn or chained in a dirt yard. Due to her deplorable living quarters, the USDA ordered Emily sent to the Baton Rouge Zoo, where she spent 3 years.

Here, she was trained by Alan Campbell. Emily was both a victim and an aggressor in a number of adversarial encounters with other elephants. When Emily’s barn was complete, she then was moved back to the Buttonwood Zoo, where she continued to be forced to perform stressful and frightening “tricks” for the entertainment of viewers.

 The Elephant Sanctuary (Hohenwald, TN) welcomes captive elephants that are elderly, sick, and/or in need of a peaceful place to spend the remainder of their lives. The sanctuary provides each elephant with individualized care, the companionship of a herd, and the ability to live the lives they have earned. Ruth and Emily deserve to roam The Elephant Sanctuary’s 2,700 acres of hills, trees, meadows, and ponds but are currently confined to an outdoor space of less than half an acre. 

 A dedicated group, Friends of Ruth and Emily, has campaigned on behalf of these exploited elephants since 2014. They have raised awareness through tabling, petitioning in person, and meeting with zoo staff and city leaders.

The Friends of Ruth and Emily have recently taken legal action against the city of New Bedford, as there is an abundance of evidence that the treatment of Ruth and Emily is a violation of the Endangered Species Act.

There are fewer than 40,000 Asian elephants remaining in the wild and the Buttonwood Park Zoo is not affording Emily and Ruth the protection they deserve.

Before the case is heard, it is imperative that we bring as much attention as possible to this dire issue. Ruth and Emily can’t wait any longer; they have suffered enough.

Please join me in asking the Buttonwood Zoo and the city of New Bedford to grant Ruth and Emily the life they deserve at the Elephant Sanctuary! 

 Thank you for being a voice for Ruth and Emily,

To move to petition, click onhttps://www.change.org/p/mayor-john-mitchell-buttonwood-park-zoo-please-allow-ruth-emily-to-be-relocated-to-the-elephant-sanctuary .

 Please follow Friends of Ruth and Emily on Twitter: https://twitter.com/retireruthembpz

 Please click here to show additional support by becoming a (free) member of Friends of Ruth and Emilyhttps://friendsofruthandemily.jimdo.com/free-membership/

https://www.change.org/p/mayor-john-mitchell-buttonwood-park-zoo-please-allow-ruth-emily-to-be-relocated-to-the-elephant-sanctuary?recruiter=851873772&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=fb_autopublish_email&utm_term=283754 .

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For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders



One response to “A Plea for Sanctuary for Two Aging Elephants in a Massachusetts Zoo

  1. signed / shared – thanks for posting this Doug!


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