Animal Defenders International (ADI) has written to the director of Oregon Zoo, Kim Smith, calling for assurances that the controversial performing elephant supplier with ownership rights over the Zoo's new baby elephant, Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT), has formally given up all legal claim to the calf.
Legendary television host and animal activist Bob Barker supported the call, "I urge the Oregon Zoo to withdraw from their agreement with Have Trunk Will Travel, in consideration of the video evidence of their abuse of their elephants".
Following news of the calf's birth it was revealed that HTWT owns the elephant's father and has legal ownership of the baby. ADI released video evidence of HTWT owners and trainers beating their elephants with bullhooks and electrocuting them with stun guns to create the same tricks seen in circuses and movies.
Jan Creamer, President of Animal Defenders International has written to Oregon Zoo Director Kim Smith, "While we appreciate your assurances that Oregon Zoo plan to keep the new elephant, and The Johnsons have stated that "HTWT has no intention and never had any intention of coming to take Rose-Tu's calf", we are sure that you understand our deep concern, and that of the public, that while the baby is the subject of a legal agreement awarding ownership to HTWT, there is the risk that The Johnsons could change their minds at a later date, when the public attention has died down, or even in future years if they find themselves in need of a new performing elephant. We urge you to seek a new legal agreement that provides for HTWT to rescind the original agreement and give up all claims to this calf."
The full letter can be found at: http://www.ad-international.org/animals_in_entertainment/go.php?id=2942&ssi=7