Opinion: If you’re an elephant in captivity, the L.A. Zoo is a great place to live

Billy, an Asian elephant, roams in his habitat at the Elephants of Asia exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo in April.
(Richard Vogel / Associated Press)

To the editor: As an Assn. of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited facility, the Los Angeles Zoo delivers exemplary care to its elephants. They live in one of the largest elephant habitats in North America at a state-of-the-art facility that has tremendous resources, has a dedicated staff and provides top-quality healthcare. (“Court overturns order to protect elephants at L.A. Zoo,” May 25)

Our elephants are exercised daily and are able to move freely throughout their habitat, which is regularly rototilled. Contrary to one of the allegations in the case, the zoo does not use bull hooks or any abusive devices and will not do so at any point in the future.

Regardless of the outcome of this case, we have and will continue to provide the highest-quality care for our elephants — because it’s the right thing to do.


John Lewis, Los Angeles

The writer is director of the L.A. Zoo.

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