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.