A horse who escaped his stable was found in an icy Wisconsin lake last week and was thankfully saved by a group of good Samaritans.
Residents and neighbors told ABC News that they were relieved that they were able to save the horse who is named Jack after Leonardo Dicaprio’s “Titanic” character. Jack was able to get up and stand up after spending three hours in the icy waters in Wood Lake, Wisconsin. Despite the subzero temperatures, residents and rescuers never gave up trying to get Jack to safety.
“This doesn’t surprise me. That is the kind of neighborhood and community that would do something like that,” Mike Strub, the president of the Big Wood Lake Association, told ABC News.
Jack escaped after a tree fell on a fence and created an opening for him to leave, according to Frontier Stables, who helped rescue the horse.
Strub said that residents of the lake saw the horse walk on the frozen water through surveillance camera footage and fall around 8:30 in the morning. They quickly went to the lake to see what they could do. Neighbors spent hours trying to save the horse, running the clock against hypothermia.
“On the scene, there was a veterinarian. As long as the horse was still moving and kicking it was savable. That’s why they never gave up,” Strub said.
Finally, rescuers were able to get a nylon strap under the horse and guide him out of the ice and to safety.
They took the horse to a trailer with a climate-controlled stable and got him warmed back up again. Representatives from Frontier Stables told ABC News that he was doing well and recuperating, and they were able to reunite Jack with his family.
We are so glad that these residents never gave up saving the horse and were able to rescue him from the freezing water.
A resilient, intelligent kitten in the United Kingdom seeking warmth from the winter cold survived a 250-mile journey under the hood of a truck.
The kitten, now named Yorkie after the driver’s favorite candy, crawled up into the truck as temperatures dropped. He then hitched a ride from Southampton to Merseyside with the truck’s unsuspecting driver. When the driver arrived at his destination, he noticed a noise coming from the hood of the truck. To his surprise, he found Yorkie near the engine, covered in oil.
The delivery driver immediately took the 9-week-old kitten to a local veterinarian. They quickly got to work cleaning off the oil and, miraculously, Yorkie was unscathed.
After getting help from the vet, the young kitten then got transported to Wirral and Chester’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Yorkie isn’t microchipped, so the RSPCA is still waiting to see if anyone claims him.
While we are overjoyed that this intrepid kitten survived this ordeal and is now in caring hands, Yorkie and his story hold some important reminders for cat guardians.
Before driving away, tap the hood of your vehicle. Wait a few seconds to see if any cat stowaways reveal themselves.
Look underneath the car and on top of the tires. Most cats will flee if you make a noise.
Cats who refuse to move may be injured, stuck, or scared. Call a local animal rescue organization for help if you need to physically remove a cat. Trying to do so on your own may result in injury for you or the cat, or damage to your car.
Always microchip your companion animals! This allows local animal rescues to quickly identify them and bring them back to you if they ever get lost.
If you are a cat guardian, please do not allow your feline to roam outdoors unattended. Roaming cats can suffer injuries, illness, and death, and they also are a leading cause of death to bird populations.
Remembering the late Eugene Bostick, an 80-year-old retired railroad engineer from Fort Worth, Texas, who spent his days operating what just might be the coolest train in the world. His homemade train took rescued stray dogs out for fun rides around the neighbourhood. 🐾💚 pic.twitter.com/WFSH2cLBV1
SIGN: Shut Down Dog Gas Chamber in Wyoming Animal Shelter
Image via Adobe Stock.
PETITION TARGET: Green River Mayor Pete Rust
UPDATE (9/27/2022): Shelter animals are still being gassed to death despite a local city’s announcement, in January, that they’d replace an inhumane gas chamber with a more humane injection option, according to Sweetwater Now news.
Members of Wyoming Against Gas Chambers demanded answers about the transition’s progress during a Green River City Council meeting and were informed by Police Chief Tom Jarvie that the city had consulted veterinary experts, received recommendations for alternatives, ordered equipment and an “injector,” and were upgrading a room in the shelter for injected euthanasia.
Meanwhile, the shelter is continuing to kill animals via gassing, according to the news reports. We will keep watching this case to make sure the changes are implemented.–Lady Freethinker Staff
The horrors for an unsuspecting dog forced into a gas chamber start with the loud and frightening noise of deadly gas. Then come muscle spasms, as coordination fails. Convulsions are common during the excruciating and painfully prolonged process that follows — with studies recording heartbeats for up to 20 minutes after animals are exposed to carbon monoxide.
Death by gas chamber has been deemed so inhumane that the cruel practice is only legally allowed in animal shelters in four states — and most of those states have no existing chambers, although the laws are still in the books.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause significant distress to animals, cannot be relied on to deliver a rapid or even certain death, poses significant physical health risks for shelter staff, and is a more expensive method than euthanasia by injection (EBI).
Sign our petition urging Green River Mayor Pete Rust and the City Council to outlaw the use of any cruel gas chambers within his jurisdiction and to transition to humane methods for euthanizing animals.
Target: Michelle Cooley, Founder and President of Kaaawa K9 Rescue
Goal: Ensure health and safety of rescue animals at seemingly neglectful facility.
Five dogs allegedly had to be rescued from a rescue facility in Hawaii. The Hawaii Humane Society took custody of the dogs from Kaaawa K9 Rescue after abuse allegations were made online and to local authorities about the organization. The accusations stated that animals were in poor health and possibly being neglected.
The owner of the organization claims the issues are due to a landlord dispute and a recent alleged arson on the property. While the local humane society found no outright evidence of abuse, the fact that they felt compelled to remove nearly half a dozen animals from a property charged with the care of these animals is disturbing. Even the owner herself reportedly admits difficulty in keeping up with care of these animals.
Sign the petition below to urge closure of an aid facility that has seemingly become a danger itself.
Dear Ms. Cooley,
No matter the source of your recent troubles with Kaaawa K9 Rescue, you have reportedly admitted that these issues are impeding your ability to care for at-risk animals. The mission of a rescue organization should always put the vulnerable living beings under its care first. Please honor this mission.
Close Kaawa until this organization can live up to its billing.
An important dog rescue organization in South Korea has suffered a devastating loss. This August, a terrible fire broke out at Jindo Love Rescue, which saves dogs from the country’s dog meat trade. The fire tragically killed thirteen dogs, with many others wounded and missing. Now the organization has 60 dogs in their care who need shelter, food, medical attention and love. On top of that, the entire rescue center needs to be rebuilt. We must support Jindo Love Rescue and help the amazing organization get back on its feet!
Sign now to demand the South Korean government provide funding to help rebuild this foster center and help dogs affected by the fire!
The cause of the fire is unknown, but the impacts have been devastating. There are dozens of dogs who need immediate veterinary care and attention, and the entire building has been destroyed.
The South Korean government — including President Yoon Suk-yeol — have been promising to move forward with ending dog meat consumption in the country for years. There is even a 2018 law on the books that technically makes the slaughter of dogs and cats illegal, t but every year, many dogs are still slaughtered. And one of the crucial ways South Korea must step up and protect the innocent dogs who are horrifically killed in the practice is by supporting organizations like Jindo Love Rescue, who care for dogs rescued from the illegal dog meat trade.
In the past 5 years alone, Jindo Love Rescue has teamed up with In Defense of Animals to save over 700 dogs from the meat trade and place them in forever homes. Clearly this amazing organization needs all the support it can get after such a tragic event. If you want to donate and support the rebuilding and immediate veterinary efforts, you can do so by clicking here. Make sure to also sign the petition now to tell the South Korean government: step up and support Jindo Love Rescue now! We must protect dogs and protect the vital organizations that shelter and care for them!
NewsUpdatesWatch: Saving a Trapped Mum and Baby Elephant
In the depths of the drought, we found a heroic display of hope. With her own life on the line, a mother elephant remained fiercely devoted to her baby. Shoulder-deep in mud and unable to move, she continued to protect him the only way she could, shielding him with her trunk. Tiny as he was, the calf was equally brave, refusing to leave his mother’s side.
This story unfolded just a few days after a massive operation to save two female elephants from a muddy fate. On 9th September, KWS and Wildlife Works reported that yet another pair of elephants had gotten trapped in the same dam. This time, it was a mother and her baby.
During the drought, the quest for water becomes increasingly fraught, especially for a creature as large as an elephant. At first glance, the dam must have looked like a safe bet for a drink. The mother elephant wasn’t to know that its shallow shoreline was actually a mire of thick, sticky mud — or that one little slip would turn into a life-or-death situation.
As had happened to the elephants the week prior, the mother lost her footing in the slick mud. She thrashed around, trying to gain enough traction to stand, but this only made her more stuck. Her tiny baby was collateral damage, sinking ever closer to his mum’s side.
Shoulder-deep in mud, both mum and baby had no chance of surviving their muddy prison. They were now on their second day of incarceration. Each passing hour exacerbated their situation, as the unforgiving sun beat down from above and mud encroached from all sides. While adult elephants are surprisingly resilient, the baby was surely struggling without the milk feedings he needs to survive at such a young age.
As soon as we received the report, we mobilised our helicopter. After picking up Dr Limo and the SWT/KWS Tsavo Mobile Vet Unit, the team headed south towards the Kenya-Tanzania border. KWS sent two Land Cruisers to the scene, which were joined by a tractor.
Usually, we don’t have to anaesthetise trapped elephants; although they are completely wild, they intuitively know that we are there to help and cooperate with their rescuers. However, a protective mother is an entirely different situation. Stuck as she was, her maternal instincts were out in full force, and she was adamant that no human approach her baby. She continued to pull him closer with her trunk, defending him with the only method she had left. It was heartbreaking and heroic to watch. To ease her anxiety and streamline the rescue operation, Dr Limo administered a sedative.
As it turned out, the baby shared his mum’s fighting spirit. The team was able to free him by hand, but with a chorus of hearty bellows, he kept running back to his mother’s side. Dr Limo also sedated the baby, so he could peacefully rest on terra firma until the mission’s completion.
It was a prodigious undertaking to free the female. Usually, elephants become stuck on their side, but the mud had a quicksand-like effect on this female. She was trapped standing, mired up to her shoulders. The team dug around her, trying to weave straps as low as possible. Eventually, they managed to secure the tow ropes around her front legs and bum. These were attached to the tractor, which was then caravanned to two Land Cruisers. With a mighty pull, the three-vehicle convoy managed to haul the elephant out of her muddy prison.
At last, it was time to wake up the patients. First the baby was revived, then his mum. He waited by her side until she got to her feet. Together, they walked off into the wilderness. There is still ample water and browse in the area, so we feel confident that both will find the sustenance they need. Most importantly, they will remain together. The next few months will be difficult, but with their fighting spirit and fierce devotion to each other, we are optimistic that this little family will see it through to the other side of the drought. And of course, should they need our help again, we will be there.
Epilogue: A happy ending for all
While both rescue operations had happy outcomes, this dam was clearly a danger zone for elephants. We feared that its next victim might not be so lucky. Working with the local chief, KWS corporal, and county government, we funded a long-term solution: An excavator came and scooped out the dam, resealing its floor and removing the perilous layer of mud. Not only does this benefit the local elephant population, but also the community who relies on the dam. With luck, this will be the last rescue operation that unfolds here.
Your support makes these missions possible. Because of you, we are able to help elephants in their hour of need, evening the scales as they navigate this challenging period.
Goal: Help victims of domestic violence by protecting their pets.
An estimated 71% of women at domestic violence shelters report that their abusers also targeted their pets, according to Representative Angela Romero of Salt Lake City. Abusers also often exploit their victims’ emotional attachment to pets as a tactic of manipulation, and about 25% of domestic violence survivors say they return to their abusers because they are worried about the safety of their pets.
A bill that would provide vital protections for pets against instances of domestic abuse has passed the Utah House. If this bill passes the Senate, Utah will follow thirty-five other states which already have similar protections in place. Not only would this bill save animals from suffering, it would also provide psychological support to survivors of domestic abuse and stalking.
Sign this petition to demand the state of Utah stand up for their survivors and pass this protective legislation.
Dear President Stuart Adams,
A bill has recently passed the Utah House which would instate vital protections for pets targeted by acts of domestic abuse. In addition to helping to reduce animal suffering, this bill would also help survivors of domestic violence feel like they can escape their situations. About a quarter of domestic violence survivors say they return to their abusers because they are worried about the safety of their pets. With this bill, survivors can be assured that their pets will be taken care of.
We are asking you, Mr. Adams, to join thirty-five other states in prioritizing the physical and psychological welfare of animals and victims over domestic abusers. Pass this bill in the Utah Senate.
Target: Joseph R. Biden, President of the United States
Goal: Demand increased funding for local animal shelters in the wake of overcrowding.
Animal shelters across the United States are in trouble. In the midst of illegal or irresponsible breeding, the eviction crisis, and rising rates of inflation, dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens are being brought into shelters at alarmingly rapid paces. These shelters are extremely overwhelmed and understaffed, with more animals coming in than they have the resources to care for.
As a result, shelters are having to make difficult decisions. Animals are being turned down, forcing owners to choose either to continue to try and care for the pet themselves or abandon it somewhere outside. Many shelters that have long operated on no-kill policies have been forced to move towards euthanasia, as they simply do not have the means by which to support such high quantities of animals. As a lot of the surrendered dogs and cats were family pets, they are highly adoptable and would make great additions to any home if only given adequate time to find one.
These shelters need our help, and fast. Sign this petition to demand increased funding for animal shelters across the U.S. and to help them in their amazing efforts to save the nation’s dogs and cats.
Dear President Biden,
Animal shelters throughout the U.S. are in the midst of a crisis. Economic hardships brought about by the pandemic, irresponsible pet ownership, illegal breeding, and the rising costs of living have all contributed to the mass influx of pets surrendered to local shelters. Most of the shelters do not have the resources to care for all these dogs and cats on their own–they are significantly understaffed, overworked, and running out of money. Many shelters that had run on no-kill policies have had to turn towards euthanasia, as they simply cannot afford to care for all of the animals in their possession.
We are asking you, Mr. Biden, to help save dogs and cats during these trying times and increase funding to local animal shelters. These animals deserve a loving home.
33 DOGS SAVED FROM SLAUGHTER! We are so happy to announce that our 33 survivors arrived safely from China into Vancouver Wednesday night! We had adopters, fosters and volunteers all on hand to welcome the pups! Please welcome these babies to their second chance at life….. pic.twitter.com/Be9F64cHcL
Hobo, an 8-year-old Australian Shepherd, was rescued after the San Diego Humane Society said he slipped into a ravine near his family’s property in Sorrento Valley, falling down a 100-foot steep hill.
Video released by the San Diego Humane Society shows the organization’s emergency response crew saving an 8-year-old Australian shepherd after the dog fell 100 feet down a steep hill in Sorrento Valley, California. (Credit: San Diego Humane Society / MAGNIFI U /TMX)
SAN DIEGO – Thanks to the quick actions of emergency crews in Southern California, a deaf dog is safe after a terrifying fall down a 100-foot hill.
Hobo, an 8-year-old Australian Shepherd, was rescued after the San Diego Humane Society said he slipped into a ravine near his family’s property in Sorrento Valley, falling down a steep hill.
PETITION TARGETS: Thailand’s Department of Livestock Development; Thai Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation; Ministry of Tourism and Sports in the Department of Tourism
Intelligent elephants are being starved, chained, and hit with metal spikes and vicious hooks so they will give rides and perform tricks for tourists at the Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo in Thailand, according to news reports.
Concerned visitors to the zoo reportedly offered to donate food but were refused entrance. They then posted photos of injured and seemingly malnourished elephants on social media and alerted wildlife and livestock officials, whose investigation found the zoo was in violation of the Cruelty Prevention and Animal Welfare Act, according to Coconuts Bangkok.
But shockingly, local authorities reportedly have decided not to pursue penalties or cruelty charges — instead telling the zoo to feed the elephants more grass and loosen the animals’ chains to reduce stress and injury, according to news reports.
The zoo has previously made the news for grossly underweight elephants being forced to perform tricks and also for handlers who reportedly stabbed elephants with spikes to force them to entertain tourists, kept animals chained in crowded and unsanitary conditions, and forced tigers, chimpanzees, and an orangutan to pose with tourists for the zoo’s profit.
Wild animals do not deserve to endure such extreme suffering and degradation for people’s “entertainment.”
Thailand must enforce its animal cruelty statutes, and these atrocious acts also must be treated with the severity they deserve.
Sign our petition urging Thailand authorities who oversee elephant welfare to thoroughly investigate conditions at this zoo, crack down with maximum penalties for violations, and retire these suffering animals to a reputable sanctuary where they will no longer be abused or exploited.
Summer is upon us, and we’re experiencing heat that, if you aren’t careful, could be deadly. And not just to humans. Some pet owners don’t realize how dangerous it is to leave your pet in a hot car, especially when it’s not even that hot out. Did you know that if it is 75 degrees outside, the inside of a car can heat up to 94 degrees in just 10 minutes? Thankfully, some states have protections for good samaritans who rescue dogs from hot cars. But in New Jersey and West Virginia, if someone tries to save a dog locked in a hot car, they could get into hot water. In these two states, although it is a crime to leave animals in hot cars, no one is allowed to rescue them.
Sign the petition to urge New Jersey and West Virginia lawmakers to adopt good samaritan laws that make it legal to save animals in hot cars!
Dogs are totally at our mercy, unable to make the choice to get out of a car when it starts to become an inferno. Not only that, they’re actually more sensitive to heat! When the weather is hot, leaving a car window cracked doesn’t do much to help an animal trapped inside, according to Katherine Wood, a criminal justice fellow at the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “It’s problematic for dogs because, unlike us, they can’t sweat, for the most part. They’re a lot more susceptible to overheating, and they can go into heat strokes very quickly.”
There are 14 states with laws that allow citizens to rescue animals from hot cars. While rescuers in these states must satisfy certain requirements to avoid legal trouble, at least it is possible to save an overheating pup! How many more animals must die horrible deaths while trapped in a car, and how many more will die because it is illegal to rescue them?
Sign the petition to urge New Jersey and West Virginia lawmakers to adopt good samaritan laws that make it legal to save animals in hot cars!
Four dolphins were released back into the wild last week in Provincetown, MA, following 24-hours of tracking along the coast and eventual stranding in Wellfleet Harbor. They were rescued in a highly coordinated response effort and released back to deeper waters, thanks to expert staff and volunteers with IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare).
IFAW received the first report of several animals close to shore off Provincetown last Wednesday afternoon. One dolphin stranded but was unfortunately pushed off by bystanders. Further human interference on land and by boat led to increased stress for the animals before responders could arrive. The team spotted the dolphins swimming farther offshore in Truro later the same day, but the tide was incoming and IFAW staff and volunteers monitored them from a distance until sunset.
“By morning light on Thursday, volunteer responders identified four common dolphins swimming near the Wellfleet Pier, and we knew something had to be done,” said Brian Sharp, IFAW’s Director of Marine Mammal Rescue & Research. “We were concerned by the animals’ behavior, the dropping tide, and given our previous experience with summer boat traffic and heat. In consultation with NOAA, we made the decision to herd the dolphins closer to shore for the best chance of a successful rescue.”
The dolphins were carefully coaxed toward shallow water and away from a dangerous stranding area known as Chipman’s Cove so that they could be stretchered. An expert-only endeavor, herding of the dolphins took place quickly and with minimal stress to the animals. This resulted in a successful rescue, calling on the skilled maneuvers of IFAW’s boat, a Wellfleet Harbormaster vessel, and additional staff in kayaks.
All four dolphins were transported to a deeper water release site off Provincetown, traveling in IFAW’s mobile dolphin rescue clinic. This one-of-a-kind vehicle was custom designed to meet the needs of what is considered a global stranding hotspot on Cape Cod. The vehicle enables IFAW veterinarians and experts to perform health assessments and stabilize the dolphins while quickly reaching the best site for release.
Thankfully, the dolphins were successfully released as a pod and swam off closely together.
Two L.A. city councilmen called Friday for more resources for the city’s struggling animal shelters following a Times article about crowded kennels, shelter dogs that go for weeks without walks and staffing shortages.
“Angelenos deserve the services we pay for,” said City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, whose South L.A. district includes Chesterfield Square Animal Services Center. “We expect animals to be treated humanely and require the city to do better.”
Chesterfield Square is the most crowded of the city’s six animal shelters and houses some 300 dogs, some of whom face long confinement periods. The city relies on hundreds of unpaid volunteers to walk and exercise the dogs, but volunteers say that they can’t keep up with the influx of animals.
At the same time, staffing shortages are hurting the department. Animal Services lost more than 20% of its workforce through a program that encouraged older city employees to retire. It was launched in the first year of the pandemic in 2020 when it wasn’t clear that federal funding would be available.
Today, staff at Animal Services are frequently absent because of COVID-19-related issues, staff and volunteers told The Times.
Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who represents the west San Fernando Valley, said he was “horrified” to read about conditions at the shelters. “My heart breaks for the animals,” said Blumenfield, who said his family has both fostered and adopted shelter dogs.
Blumenfield questioned why more “red flags” weren’t raised about the shelter’s challenges.
Yet, members of the public regularly call into meetings of the Los Angeles Animal Services Commission, which is made up of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s appointees, to complain about conditions at the shelters, including the dogs’ long confinement.
And in May, an employee at the city’s San Pedro shelter emailed supervisors to alert them to overcrowding issues, including dogs that were being housed in shower stalls and in wildlife cages.
“We should be able to deal with this as a city,” Blumenfield said. “We have the resources and we have the know-how.”
He said the city shouldn’t be in a position where its dogs “are kept in shower stalls and not having walks.”
Blumenfield, who was critical at the time of the city’s retirement program because he feared a big loss in staff, also said the department needs more employees and better technology make it easier for the public to volunteer and adopt animals.
Animal Services’ interim general manager Annette Ramirez said in an interview last month that a new website will launch soon.
Harris-Dawson also said the neighborhood around the shelter “is filled with folks who love pets and are willing to give their time to turn the situation around. If Animal Services engages with the local community, they will show up.”
KTLA reported Thursday that Claudio Kusnier, a volunteer at the West Valley shelter, was suspended after he talked to the news outlet about conditions at the shelter.
Kusnier told KTLA that the shelters need to stay open past 5 p.m. so more people can volunteer. At one point — Kusnier was also interviewed after the suspension — he blamed department “mismanagement” for the loss of two key staff members who recently left. Both of those staffers are now working at other animal services agencies.
Jean Sarfaty, a former 911 city operator who volunteers at the West Valley shelter, told The Times that she was also suspended after talking to the media on Thursday. She said she was told she was suspended because she gave an interview without permission. She was wearing an Animal Services t-shirt at the time, too.
“I didn’t say anything negative,” Sarfaty said. “I said that the city employees work hard and that volunteers help to do the things that the city workers aren’t doing because they don’t have time.” The Times was not immediately able to get a comment from Animal Services about Sarfaty’s account.
Agnes Sibal, a spokesperson for Los Angeles Animal Services, said the department doesn’t comment on “staffing-related or personnel issues.”
Speaking generally about volunteer interviews, Sibal said volunteers need department approval prior to speaking to the media “when they are going to speak and represent the department [as a volunteer] to the media.”
Sibal also appeared on CBS2 this week and said that the dogs receive care, although some may not be walked for weeks.
“All the dogs in our shelters actually get daily enrichments,” Sibal told the news station. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that they get walked every day. However, they do get some form of exercise and interaction with volunteers or staff.”
Asked what exercise the dogs get every day, Sibal told The Times the animals get enrichment activities.
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“Dogs receive exercise through canine enrichment by engaging them in activities designed to stimulate their mind while also keeping them active,” Sibal said.
“Enrichment activities happen daily and vary day by day and may be outdoors via playtime in the yards or walks, or in their kennels, when they get their daily treats from staff/volunteers; receive Kong toys with treats inside; or when they enjoy frozen treats during hot weather,” Sibal said.
Other activities include blowing bubbles for dogs to pop and chase and reading to the animals, Sibal said.
She also said that city staff’s enrichment activities may not be reflected in any logs.
Former Animal Services supervisor Thomas Kalinowski, one of the staff who recently left the department, said that he personally interacted with dogs that hadn’t been out of their kennels in weeks or months.
Mike Long, communications director for SEIU 721, which represents some Animal Services workers, said Friday that “more animals will continue to suffer” if the city doesn’t act.
“We have to face facts — we need more dollars for staff and facilities because clearly, relying on the good will of volunteers and on private, one-time donations from pet-loving celebrities alone just isn’t enough,” Long said.
City Councilman Paul Koretz, who chairs a committee overseeing animal issues, has scheduled an emergency committee meeting next week to discuss conditions at the shelters.
In 1998, a 26 month-old male African elephant was presented as a diplomatic gift by Zimbabwe to India. He was named ‘Shankar’ after India’s 9th President Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma. Shankar, now over 26 years old, has lived his entire life in the Delhi zoo (National Zoological Park, NZP). Since 2001 when his sole companion Vambai passed away, Shankar has lived in solitary confinement.
Shankar’s Physical and Mental Condition
Shankar is chained for 17 hours of the day and does not have adequate space to move around when he is let out. Much like humans, elephants are social beings and suffer neurological distress when put in solitary confinement. Shankar constantly demonstrates stereotypical behaviour like swaying and head-bobbing, a key sign of distress (see video link). In fact, Shankar’s aggressive behaviour has necessitated the zoo authorities to permanently close the viewing pathway since he could be a danger to visitors. In a response to our RTI in July 2021, the Delhi Zoo confirmed that not only has it made NO effort in the past, it has NO FUTURE PLANS to release Shankar to a sanctuary or any other location where he can have the companionship of other African elephants. This just fills us with sadness and despair for Shankar who is clearly in duress. If Shankar’s solitary captivity does not end immediately, he will meet the same fate as Vambai who died in the zoo.
We need the Delhi Zoo (NZP) to transfer Shankar to be released to a wildlife refuge or sanctuary where there are ample African elephants. The NZP director has a unique opportunity to set an example to every other zoo in India and to the world so that not only Shankar but all other captive elephants can have a better future.
Steps undertaken by YFA
Letter sent to Delhi Zoo on October 4, 2021. Read here
Letter sent to Prime Minister’s Office on November 16, 2021. Read here
Having received no response, we filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Delhi High Court that was heard on January 3, 2022. The Hon’ble High Court admitted our case and also directed the Respondents to consider our representation. The next court hearing is scheduled for July 6, 2022.
We really hope you will join hands with us to help Shankar earn his freedom and have a chance to live a normal elephant life with his own kind. Please sign our petition and share it widely.
Following in the spirit of Britain's Queen Boudica, Queen of the Iceni. A boudica.us site. I am an opinionator, do your own research, verification. Reposts, reblogs do not neccessarily reflect our views.