Tina's trip is postponed!!!
rumsiki at netvision.net.il
Fri Jun 13 22:03:01 EDT 2003
From: Voices for The Voiceless Inc.
To: V for the V
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2003 7:25 PM
Subject: Tina's trip is postponed!!!
NEWS For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Carol Buckley 931-796-6500 x 22
T I N A ’ S T R I P I S P O S T P O N E D
HOHENWALD, Tenn. (June12, 2003) – Just when everyone was sure Tina would be
moved to the Sanctuary without a hitch, an unexpected situation has
Everything was coming together smoothly. The United States Fish and Wildlife
Service (USFWS) and The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
declared Tina could be moved immediately. Upon receiving confirmation from
both USFWS & USDA, Canadian CITES announced Tina’s export permit could be
issued the next day.
The USFWS, the agency that regulates the importation of endangered species,
assured Canadian CITES that no USFWS permit was required to import Tina into
the United States. The reason for her exception is that Tina was born in
1970, a few years before the Asian elephant was declared an endangered
species. As result of her birth date, Tina is exempt from some laws
intended to protect her species; she and others her age and older are
“grand-fathered” in and not effected by all of the USFWS regulations
governing Asian elephants born after 1973.
The USDA monitors elephant importation with regard to health and welfare.
They require all elephants living in or moving to the US to be tested
annually for tuberculosis. For the past several years the human strain of
tuberculosis has plagued many herds of performing elephants including
Hawthorn Corporation, the largest elephant leasing company in the US, and
Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, the largest traveling circus in
the US. The TB test consists of collecting sputum through a procedure
called a trunk wash. The sputum is then cultured which requires sixty days
to be conclusive. Tina’s trunk wash samples arrived at the USDA lab for
processing Wednesday, June 11. The results will be available August 6th.
In the past, the USDA had accepted results of an additional test called an
MTD when used in conjunction with the culture test. The MTD test utilizes
the same trunk wash sample but unlike the culture test, which takes sixty
days to produce results, the MTD produces results in forty-eight hours. The
USDA recently changed their policy regarding MTD testing and does not accept
it as an official TB test. This policy change is the reason Tina’s move has
Although Tina’s TB culture test results will not be available for another
sixty days, the USDA has stated they could allow Tina to move to the
Sanctuary at any time. There would be one restriction; although Tina would
be allowed to move to the Sanctuary immediately, she would not be allowed to
have any physical contact with the Sanctuary elephants until the culture
test results are conclusive. That means Tina would be allowed NO PHYSICAL
INTERACTION with any of the Sanctuary elephants for up to sixty days. Even
though she would be kept isolated from her new family, Tina would be able to
smell, see and hear the other elephants. In our experience, such
deprivation borders on cruelty. Although these conditions would not be life
threatening, it is no way to begin a relationship and develop trust between
keepers and/or elephants. Tina’s forced isolation from the other elephants
would definitely be most stressful for her as well as the other elephants.
For elephants, being allowed to see, smell and hear but deprived of touch is
not a healthy situation.
After consulting with the staff at the Greater Vancouver Zoo, it was
mutually agreed that it is in Tina’s best interest to remain at the zoo, in
familiar surroundings, with staff that she knows, until such time as she can
be allowed to interact freely with her new elephant family at the Sanctuary.
This has been a very difficult and painful decision. Everyone, Sanctuary
staff, zoo staff and all of Tina’s friends, desperately want her to move to
the Sanctuary as soon as possible. But after careful consideration, we
realized that the best thing for Tina is to stay at the zoo a few extra
weeks until she can be with her new elephant family in a healthy way.
Tina’s new target move date is set for August 7. Considering the temperature
at this time of year the Sanctuary is going to the expense of installing an
air conditioning unit in Tina’s trailer so that she will remain cool and
comfortable during her trip to the Elephant Sanctuary.
The Elephant Sanctuary, located in Hohenwald, Tenn. is the nation’s first
natural-habitat refuge developed to meet the needs of endangered Asian
elephants. The Sanctuary is a non-profit organization, licensed by the US
Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The
Sanctuary currently gives refuge to six elephants, with plans to rescue more
in the future.
For more information about how you can become a member of the Sanctuary or
make donations, call (931) 796-6500 or visit the web site at
Voices for the Voiceless Inc.
"Teach Respect to the Earth and All Living Things"
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