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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Before it fades from view

Should Portland's Metro government be in the business of breeding elephants, in two separate herds, on a large scale?

"The model assumes a robust reproductive rate with births occurring every four years per reproductively viable female," the plan reads. "To develop an unrelated multigenerational matriarchal herd at the remote elephant center, the zoo plans to acquire four unrelated females."

The plan calls for two bulls—Tusko and Samudra—to live on the reserve. Zoo officials say the current female elephants would stay at the zoo, and not visit the reserve. They won't make any promises about Packy.

What the zoo does to elephants is pretty sick. And it gets in bed with private carny operations that are even worse. To ramp up the misery, and the expense, seems to be against the public interest. Where's the voter pushback on this budding animal mill?

Comments (6)

Free Lily!

Jack, I don't have your photoshop mojo ... (Could you create an elephant image in the "Free Willy" style for the "Free Lily" campaign?)

Cut services to those with mental health problems, put more guys--especially if they're black--in jail and short change schools so you have enough money to raise elephants. The definition of smart has sure changed.

You're missing the long-term plan - Convention Center Hotel / Elephant breeding facility.

Do they make money or lose money in the breeding/sale of elephants?

Oh, right, this is the same outfit that runs Trimet. So they lose money on the elephants.

It was always my understanding that elephant herds were matriarchal. So . . . the new, bigger planned reserve will be for two bull elephants while Packy and all of the females and calves get to stay cheek to jowl in the 1+ acre elephant area at the zoo.

Why not keep the bulls at the zoo and put the females and calves on the reserve? Probably because then the public won't be able to see them and the zoo will lose the lemminglike hordes who want to ogle Lily before she's no longer "cute". Then she can look forward to being impregnated like the rest of the girls.

This is not an improvement.

Although it often seems like it, Metro doesn't run TriMet.

It does, however, run the zoo.

It's worth remembering that Metro conned voters into passing two bond measures for "acquisition and preservation of natural areas for the benefit of wildlife and people".

Subsequently, Metro acquired and transferred 500 acres along Clear Creek to their zoo subsidiary, which the zoo promptly fenced and developed into off-site areas for California condors, pygmy rabbits (both breeding areas and, in the case of the birds, including flight cages and research facilities).

Metro has now agreed to purchase and transfer some 240 acres near Sandy, Oregon for development into an off-site elephant area, which will require security fencing and extensive development.

Regardless of how you may feel regarding development of off-site breeding facilities for endangered species, it remains that Metro has clearly abrogated their promise to voters in that such land transfers fail to preserve natural areas for the benefit of wildlife and people - both are fenced out, and the natural areas are developed rather than being protected.

Metro has been so busy buying land that it has suddenly occurred to them that they have no funds for "preservation" - even assuming that such was a goal. As a result, they plan to field yet another bond measure in May 2013.

It's as though you bought a mansion in the West Hills and found that you had no money left to pay for insurance, utilities, or food (as Metro is a government agency, they don't have to worry about property taxes).

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