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For Immediate Release: 03/12/07

Animal group applauds decision to send L.A. Zoo elephant to sanctuary

Pending legislation poises CA as leader in nationwide debate on captive elephants and animal welfare

Sacramento, CA — The Animal Protection Institute (API), the Sacramento-based national non-profit animal advocacy organization, joins citizens nationwide in applauding Mayor Villaraigosa and the Los Angeles City Council for choosing to send Ruby the elephant to the PAWS sanctuary.

API is the sponsor of AB 777, the California Elephant Protection Act, authored by Los Angeles-area Assemblymember Lloyd Levine, which seeks to ensure the humane treatment of captive elephants in California.

“Californians have once again stepped up to the plate for these magnificent animals,” says Nicole Paquette, Director of Legal and Government Affairs for API. “Ruby’s life has been one of tragedy and suffering and she deserves nothing less than to live her life in the safe, comfortable, social and caring environment that the PAWS sanctuary will provide.”

In 2006, California became the first state in the nation to introduce and debate a state law regarding elephant welfare. The San Francisco Zoo set a nationwide trend, followed by more than four zoos, when it moved its elephants to PAWS sanctuary after the high profile deaths of two of its elephants, Calle and Maybelle, who died prematurely due to health issues.

“People respond so emotionally to elephants because we know they are highly intelligent, social, emotional animals — just like us,” says Paquette. “Yet we fail to give them the same consideration in terms of animal welfare that we give to companion animals such as dogs and cats. The California Elephant Protection Act will ensure that they are given the respect and care they deserve, and the decision concerning Ruby is a big step in that direction.”

The Animal Protection Institute (API) is a national non-profit animal advocacy organization working to end animal cruelty and exploitation through legislation, litigation, and public education. API is a nationally recognized leader on elephant issues and the sponsor of legislation concerning captive elephant welfare issues in California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.api4animals.org.


Zibby Wilder, Animal Protection Institute, 916-447-3085 x205

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