Elephant killed at the San Diego Wild Animal Park


Tests show elephant killed by elephant

J. Harry Jones   Dec. 20, 2011

SAN PASQUAL VALLEY — Tests results have determined that the African elephant that died at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park last month suffered severe traumatic injuries due to an encounter with another elephant, a zoo spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The results of a post-mortem exam on Umoya, along with staff observations, led to the conclusion that was suspected from the beginning.

“Because elephants are very large, strong animals, we recognize that even accidental moves on their part can cause serious damage,” spokeswoman Yadira Galindo said in a statement.

“African elephants are wild animals and the herd at the Safari Park is maintained in a way that encourages natural social behavior. Aggressive encounters between elephants occur in the wild and sometimes result in death.”

Umoya, one of the dominant female elephants at the park, died early the morning of Nov. 17. No one saw what happened, and the 21-year-old elephant’s injuries, described as scrapes without much blood, didn’t immediately appear severe enough to be fatal.

Umoya was born in Kruger National Park in South Africa around 1990. In 2003, she was one of several African elephants that the zoo imported from Swaziland, where officials said they were going to be killed because of elephant overpopulation.

Animal rights activist fought the move, calling it inhumane to take elephants from the wild and place them in captivity. They disputed that the group actually faced death.

Two days after Umoya died, the animal rights group In Defense of Animals asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the circumstances. Galindo said the zoo reported the death to the USDA.

She said Tuesday that animal care staff at the park continue to work with the African elephant herd, duplicating wild herd interaction, including occasionally separating bull elephants at night, periodic separations of female groups and allowing Umoya’s two youngsters, ages 4 and 1 1/2, to receive some parenting from other herd members.

“All such management is accomplished through a protected contact system where humans have little interference in natural elephant encounters. Umoya’s youngsters are doing well and gaining weight,” she said.

Doctor Debora’s Comments:

The story of Umoya’s traumatic and untimely death begs to have the background stories told. Only once one understands the bigger picture, can one grasp the magnitude of death and despair epitomized by this latest tragedy at the San Diego Wild Animal Park (SDWAP).

Although the SDWAP offers significantly more room and a more temperate climate for elephants than most other zoos and parks, they are still far from replicating nature and the social conditions that this magnificent and ancient species have evolved for. In addition, typical of all ‘for-profit’ businesses, the SDWAP’s decisions are based on what is in the best interests of their bottom line, and not the best interests of the animals in their charge. A perfect example of this, is the story of  elephants Wankie, Tatima, and Peaches. Continue reading

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Rodeos- Contests of Courage or Sanctioned Animal Abuse?

Video by SharkOnline.org

Far from traditional feats of courage, cunning and strength over wild animals encountered on the range, rodeos are highly-staged forms of sanctioned animal abuse motivated by glory and greed. This video exemplifies the toll on the innocent victims in this show of bravado.

The rodeo is merely a Western-themed circus, with domesticated animals in place of wild animals. The normally docile animals purposely raised for the rodeo circuit, are physically provoked into displaying “wild” behavior with electric prods, spurs, tail twisting, physical abuse in the chute, or flank straps applied to their sensitive groin areas, in attempts to challenge the cowboys and make them appear courageous. Continue reading

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Cruelty to Animals-Puppies Tossed into the River

The entire video clip can be seen at:


Doctor Debora’s Comments

Firstly, I need to say that the sheer callousness shown by this young woman, is very disturbing. She shows absolutely no hesitation in destroying these innocent newborns, even as they cry, and she seems to take delight in her actions. The outrage generated by this video is entirely understandable. BUT…what I don’t understand is where are these outraged people the rest of the time? Continue reading

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Video of Animal Cruelty in the Pork Industry

A  Mercy for Animals.org production on the reality for pigs in a factory farm operation.

Doctor Debora’s Comments:

The reality experienced by these sentient, and incredibly social and intelligent beings in factory farms is anything but natural. Pigs are treated as meat production units, and not as as individuals capable of immense suffering; physically, mentally and emotionally.

From the moment these pigs are  born, their lives are filled with pain, deprivations, frustration and heartache. Much of why animal cruelty abounds in these factory farms is because of economics. It is simply more profitable to house thousands of hogs indoors in close confinement where you can generate higher outputs with fewer inputs. To further save on input costs, piglets are denied even a local anesthetic or pain relief for surgeries like castration, teeth cutting and tail cropping, and, when their intestines herniate through their surgical incisions, nothing is done. The same economic constraints apply to the sows forced to continually produce litter after litter while trapped in stalls barely bigger than they are. The many who develop crippling arthritis, chronically festering pressure sores or break a leg, are left untreated, and those who prolapse their uteruses are left to die. Only 1-2 employees can run operations of up to 100,000 hogs, so there is no manpower or space even available to handle sick hogs. As these operations house tens of thousands of animals in their operation, hundreds of deaths still fall within the allowable limit. Continue reading

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