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Should Packy Stay At The Oregon Zoo?

OPB | April 11, 2014 12:40 p.m. | Updated: April 11, 2014 2 p.m.

Packy, April 11, 2013 just days before his 51st birthday party.

Packy, April 11, 2013 just days before his 51st birthday party.

Michael Clapp / OPB

The Oregon Zoo hopes visitors will flock to the annual Elephantastic celebration Saturday in honor of Packy the elephant’s 52nd birthday. A group of animal rights activists will be there too, at a Rally to Free Packy. Members of In Defense of Animals and Free the Oregon Zoo Elephants (FOZE) are advocating for Packy to be sent to an elephant sanctuary like the one operated by the Performing Animal Welfare Society in California.

Packy drew more than 1.2 million visitors to the zoo in 1962, the year he was born. Since then, the Oregon Zoo has become known for its elephant breeding program. FOZE points to concerns that life in captivity is hazardous to elephant health. The group would like to see Packy and all of the other elephants at the Oregon Zoo released to a sanctuary.

We’ll hear from the Oregon Zoo and FOZE about the quality of life of elephants in captivity.

Are you a fan of the elephants at the Oregon Zoo? What do you think about the idea of sending them to a sanctuary?

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