The Los Angeles City Council voted 13-2 to build a costly ($40 - $60 million) elephant enclosure at the LA zoo. Only Councilmembers Dennis Zine and Bill Rosendahl voted with activists who wanted the exhibit closed and the three elephants freed...
How logical it would have been to save both the elephants and taxpayer dollars by voting against the proposed 3.5-acre elephant exhibit and sending our imprisoned pachyderms to paradise in a spacious sanctuary in Northern California. But City Councils do not always make logical decisions as we painfully discovered on Wednesday morning.
The second most rational approach would have been to postpone the decision for a few weeks until results had been tallied on Assemblyman Lloyd Levine’s pending bill which would require California elephant exhibits to have more acreage than the LA plan provides.
Postponement would also have given Neighborhood Councils an opportunity to poll their stakeholders and make a formal recommendation to the city. Many councils have the elephant issue agendized for their May meetings due to a presentation about the topic at the LANC Congress earlier this month.
Unfortunately, haste, waste and misconceptions about the needs of massive animals have prevailed while the voiceless pachyderms and obviously equally voiceless taxpayers have been shoved aside.