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quarta-feira, 7 de julho de 2010

How you can help save Queenie

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Dear Anne,

ThElephant Queenie in chainse 1950s must have felt peaceful to the little baby elephant Queenie.

Somewhere in the Asian forests, two-year-old Queenie followed her mother and family as they foraged for hours, as elephants do in the wild – exploring miles of rich natural environment, seeking out mates, and meeting distant friends and relations.

Queenie’s life was about to change dramatically.

Elephants are a keenly intelligent species – they play, use tools, are altruistic and will come to the aid of other species in trouble – and they grieve. Their societies are among the most closely knit on the planet. Like humans, elephant babies and adolescents must be taught by their parents and families how to behave and survive – often over more than a decade’s time.

please donate button grey redOnly through injury, death or capture can an elephant calf be separated from her family. The trauma of such an event is devastating.

Queenie was robbed of her freedom and family when captured in the wild in the mid-1950s. Then it got worse.

Queenie was sold into the misery of a circus. Elephants in circuses are subject to intensive confinement and constant travel for up to 50 weeks each year, stuffed into trucks and train cars.

Training is cruel, life-long and relentless. Babies are “broken” – in spirit and body – during brutal training that involves prolonged restraint and punishment. Elephant calves are traumatized repeatedly. First (like Queenie), at the separation from their mothers and families, and then during violent training that includes restraint with ropes or chains for up to 23 hours a day, electric shocks, and physical punishment. At the core of this control is the bullhook, a steel-tipped device similar to a fireplace poker used to prod, hook, jab and strike elephants. Even when not in use, the bullhook is a constant reminder of pain and punishment.

So powerful is the negative association with the bullhook that an elephant who has not even seen the device in years will respond immediately to its mere presence.

For HALF A CENTURY, this was Queenie’s miserable life.

In April, despite the passion and action of thousands of IDA supporters who wrote, called, and emailed the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) urging that she be sent to a sanctuary, the USDA orchestrated Queenie’s transfer to the San Antonio Zoo.

please donate button grey redTHREE times this facility has been listed among IDA’s Top Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants because of the wretched conditions for its sole elephant at the time, the woefully misnamed Lucky. TWICE it has topped the list! The San Antonio elephant exhibit is a pitiful, outdated display.

First Queenie was ripped from her family in the wild. Then she was beaten, broken, abused, confined and neglected in a circus for FIVE DECADES. Then she was sold to the worst zoo for elephants in the country!

The USDA placed Queenie where the anxiety of intensive confinement and public exhibition will continue, daily, hour after miserable hour. After enduring a HALF CENTURY of abuse, Queenie desperately needs specialized rehabilitative care. Queenie deserves to enjoy a stable existence at a sanctuary.

IDA will not stop fighting for Queenie and Lucky, until they are free at a sanctuary.

We are pursuing an investigation into the USDA’s role in Queenie’s transfer to the San Antonio Zoo. We have filed complaints with the USDA against the zoo because of its inadequate conditions for Lucky.

We have much more planned, and I am asking for your help.

Please be as generous as you possibly can today. Help secure the release of Queenie and Lucky to a sanctuary. We have a great deal of work to do, and it will not be inexpensive.

• We must continuously monitor and assess their health and welfare.
• We are working with local activists to document the elephants’ behavior and living conditions, for more USDA complaints, presentations to city officials, educational brochures, and media outreach.
• We will print and distribute educational banners, fliers, and brochures.
• And of course, ultimately, there will be the significant cost of transporting Queenie and Lucky to a new sanctuary home.

Our work is definitely cut out for us. That is why your participation and help is so urgently needed.

On behalf of the elephants, thank you for all that you do and all that I hope you will do again today. With your participation and support, we will see the day when elephants receive the respect and protection they deserve … when elephants like Queenie and Lucky will forage in a sanctuary, again able to enjoy the sort of peace and contentment they once knew so many decades ago.

Sincerelyscotlund haisley chickens,

Scotlund Haisley signature

Scotlund Haisley
President, In Defense of Animals

In Defense of Animals, located in San Rafael, Calif., is an international animal protection organization with more than 85,000 members and supporters dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights and welfare. IDA's efforts include educational events, cruelty investigations, boycotts, grassroots activism, and hands-on rescue through our sanctuaries in Mississippi, Mumbai, India, and Cameroon, Africa.

In Defense of Animals is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We welcome your feedback and appreciate your donations. Please join today! All donations to IDA are tax-deductible.

In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031

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