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7/3 Response from Dallas Zoo regarding Jenny the Elephant

July 3, 2008 
 

Thank you for your interest and concern regarding Jenny, the Dallas Zoo’s elephant. The Dallas Zoo is committed to providing the highest quality of care for our animals. After careful consideration of various AZA accredited zoological parks and our current elephant habitat at the Dallas Zoo, the Zoo staff has decided that Jenny the elephant will be going to Africam Safari Park in Puebla, Mexico later this year so that she can socialize with other elephants in a fantastic facility. 

Jenny has been a resident of our Dallas Zoo for over 21 years.  She has received tremendous care during her stay.  It has been a very difficult decision for the staff of our Zoo but they have made this decision with only the best interest of this beloved animal in mind.  She will be on loan to this facility and will remain the responsibility of the Dallas Zoo.  She could be brought back to the Dallas Zoo if we so choose.  

It’s important to understand that Africam Safari Park, like the Dallas Zoo, San Diego Zoo, Fort Worth Zoo, Columbus Zoo, and approximately 215 other zoos and aquariums in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, is an ACCREDITED facility through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) (www.aza.org).  Africam Safari Park has passed their inspection process and has an excellent elephant facility, including three elephants on their 617-acre forested preserve. They will also be adding another female African elephant by the end of the summer to be a constant companion for Jenny when she arrives this fall.  Jenny will receive total quality care and will be cared for by a team of six full-time veterinarians, a full-time nutritionist, an enrichment professional as well as a staff of  six dedicated solely to what will now be a total of five elephants (from a total staff of over 300 employees). 

The AZA standards not only encompass USDA standards but they go beyond them.  That’s why less than 10% of licensed USDA facilities are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and only two in all of Mexico. Even though USDA guidelines are not enforced in Mexico, by sending Jenny to an AZA accredited facility, we are assured that they practice the same stringent guidelines followed by the Dallas Zoo.  Our Zoo will always have access to this facility to witness these standards in practice. The sanctuaries that have been mentioned by the animal activists as a possible place for Jenny do not have these comprehensive standards for operations and care as a part of their formal association.  

Lastly, the Dallas Zoo will not be receiving financial remuneration for sending Jenny to the Africam Safari Park.   

I hope this gives you a better understanding of Jenny’s new home and the care that she will be receiving.  Africam Safari Park is a wonderful organization and we encourage you to visit their Web site at www.africamsafari.com.mx/ to learn more about their institution. The Dallas Zoo is committed to elephants and we look forward to having them back here in a new, wonderful habitat in the near future. 

Sincerely, 

Gregg Hudson

Dallas Zoo Director

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2 Responses to “7/3 Response from Dallas Zoo regarding Jenny the Elephant”

  1. This is really sad. Elephants are smart and emotionally intelligent animals and should not be in zoos. Do you think this was a financially motivated decision? Sigh.

    wally (& his ma ape)

  2. P.S. One of the related stories to this post was about the death of Hansa, the elephant of the Woodland Park zoo in Seattle. We used to live about three blocks from there and played at the dog park that was right near the zoo. Sigh.


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