To the Editor: June 8th, 2006
I have been following the impregnation of Romani for the last 7 years. I am active in boycotting circuses, handing out literature about the reality of “Culling the herds” in African elephants, and the means of getting Asian elephant calves in Asia by killing the mother and brutally reconditioning the calf with torture and corporal punishment.
When I found out about elephants in Syracuse the first year here I was curious to see how they were treated. Imagine my surprise to find them performing circus tricks with “keepers” holding the same bull hook type devices I’d seen first hand in horrific circus training.
When I found out about the Syracuse “breeding” program I vowed to never visit the zoo again. When I wrote a letter to the zoo, I received no answer, with some research I found out from PETA the following information:
“The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York, faces two charges of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act and a $10,765 fine after USDA inspectors determined that improper handling led to the death of 4-day-old Asian elephant Kedar. Baby Kedar dove into a deep pool of water from which zookeepers had trouble removing him and died when his intestinal tract became twisted after he took in too much air and water.
Half the elephants born at the zoo since 1990 have died, including 3-year-old Preya from the elephant herpes virus. The Rosamond Gifford Zoo keeps breeding elephants because babies draw in visitors and boost profits—even though every birth carries the risk of the herpes-carrying herd passing on the disease to the vulnerable baby, and there is no chance of the elephant ever being released to the wild.
Elephants born at the zoo face not only the threat of disease, but also the bite of Syracuse’s harsh winters and of the bullhook: The Rosamond Gifford Zoo still practices an outdated, circus-style form of elephant management that consists of dominance and the imposition of fear, both of which are established by the barbaric use of bullhooks.”
Taken from Peta’s “www.Savewildelephants.com”
Now elephant Romani is again pregnant and as of early this morning is to receive an “”episiotomy” which involves making an incision to widen the birth canal to allow her to push the calf out. There is only a minute chance of a live birth. This will be Romani’s third baby to die because of a reprehensible decision by the Syracuse Zoo and director Anne Baker to use elephants as “tools” to boost profit and attendance.
Shame on Anne Baker director of the Syracuse Zoo for routinely subjecting this elephant to such abuse, and on Syracuse for allowing it to go on without objection.
Furious in Syracuse,
Joy E.C. Manlove
Community Animal Project