Friday, January 22, 2010

This Week In St. Louis Elephant-Related News

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 3:59 PM

click to enlarge This poor Elephant doesn't have a name, but anybody can suggest one for a $7.00 donation going to BackStoppers. - CONTRIBUTED BY KIM BARKS
  • Contributed by Kim Barks
  • This poor Elephant doesn't have a name, but anybody can suggest one for a $7.00 donation going to BackStoppers.
What do an auto body shop, the St. Louis Zoo, an animal rights group, Mardi Gras and the Caribbean have in common?

They're all part of this week's Elephant related news that have been stampeding through the RFT's inboxes.

1. First up, the St. Louis Zoo announced a few days ago that one of its Asian elephants, Rani, is pregnant.

Good news, right? Well, the animal-rights group In Defense of Animals doesn't think so. Daily RFT readers might remember that our Zoo made the group's "Hall of Shame" for the confinement and treatment of elephants.

Now, In Defense of Animals is complaining about the Zoo's "deadly breeding practices."
According to the statement posted on its Web site, the St. Louis Zoo is making too many baby elephants too quickly.

"It is unconscionable for the St. Louis Zoo to continue breeding elephants, knowing full well that any infant born there faces a high risk of maternal rejection, disease and death," says Catherine Doyle, IDA campaign director. "The zoo's irresponsible actions have nothing to do with elephant conservation and everything to do with maximizing profits to be made from a new baby elephant. The Zoo should be condemned by anyone who cares about the well-being of elephants and their future on this planet."
Daily RFT has a call out to the St. Louis Zoo to hear its side of the story, but nobody has called back yet.

2. Now, for an Auto Body shop bought a fifteen-foot Elephant and wants you to name it. The contest will raise money for BackStoppers.

Complete Auto Body and Repair needs a name for its new elephant statue. The auto body shop is sponsoring a contest, starting February 1, which will allow people to suggest a name for the elephant for a $7 donation that will go to BackStoppers.

Bob Barks, the shop's owner, will also donate $1,000 of his own money to the police or fire department that sells the most tickets.

The elephant was bought from a company in the Caribbean, and struggled through a six-month journey to get to St. Louis. Apparently it's hard to find fifteen-foot elephants locally.

The elephant will make an appearance at the Mardi Gras parade, where she will be temporarily known as the BackStoppers Elephant.

The contest runs from February 1 until May 1, when the winning name will be drawn. The winner also receives a $300 bicycle.

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