Contributed By:

Becky Tillson

A Hard Look At Elephants In Captivity

OPB | Dec. 5, 2012 12:30 p.m. | Updated: Sept. 11, 2013 12:19 a.m.

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Michael Durham / Oregon Zoo

Editor’s Note: Both the Oregon Zoo and the Have Trunk Will Travel company have made it clear that the newborn baby elephant will remain at the zoo. In light of this development, our segment today will take a broader look at elephants living and breeding in captivity.

The Seattle Times has published a contract (pdf) between the Oregon Zoo and a compay called Have Trunk Will Travel which stipluates that the baby elephant born at the zoo Friday does not actually belong to the zoo. The female baby’s mother, Rose-Tu, is owned by the zoo but her father, Tusko, belongs to Have Trunk Will Travel. According to the contract, the second, fourth and sixth offspring of the pachyderm couple belong to the company, as of 30 days after their birth. The calf born Friday is their second. 

A statement from the Oregon Zoo says,

It is true that, per the contract, Have Trunk Will Travel is designated the official owner once the calf has lived 30 days, but that does not mean they take possession of her.

What questions do you have about the ownership issues with the new baby elephant? What would you like to know about elephants living in captivity?

GUEST:

  • Michael Berens: Reporter for The Seattle Times

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