Monday, July 20, 2009

Denver Zoo among those waiting for outcome of Ringling elephant trial

As the Denver Zoo readies to pull the trigger on a $50 million exhibit that will house between eight and 12 elephants later this year, a legal battle over elephant handling, including the use of bullhooks, is lumbering toward a conclusion.

Lawyers for animal-welfare activists recently clashed with Feld Entertainment Inc., the parent company of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, over a novel application of the Endangered Species Act involving captive Asian elephants, which are protected under the act. The six-week trial in federal district court in Washington, D.C., ended in March.

The decision, expected later this summer, could foreshadow the end of the show — at least the “free contact” show — for the elephants in America’s zoos.

Read more in this Longmont Times-Call piece by Eric Barendsen.

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