Judge criticizes conditions for elephants coming to Oklahoma

Ponca City Now - April 8, 2015 8:45 am

SEATTLE (AP) – A federal judge has criticized conditions for elephants at both the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle and the Oklahoma City zoo but he refused to block the transfer of two Seattle elephants to Oklahoma.

The Seattle Times reports that (http://is.gd/r31kt4 ) U.S. District Judge John Coughenour said Tuesday he was "deeply troubled" that the Oklahoma zoo won’t be able to offer Chai and Bamboo "the climate nor nearly the amount of space that independent experts have said is necessary for their well-being." The judge says their current Seattle home is no better. He says that since elephant sanctuaries can’t immediately accept them, the move is unlikely to harm them more than their existence "as captive Asian elephants in the United States."

The Times says a lawyer for the Elephant Justice Project says a decision will be made soon on whether to appeal.

An appeals hearing is scheduled Thursday on last week’s ruling by a state judge who also refused to block the transfer.


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