December 4, 2012

Elephants Are Dying Out in America's Zoos

Michael Berens, Seattle Times

AP Photo

As the 1960s dawned, few Americans had ever seen a baby elephant. It had been more than 40 years since an elephant had been born in North America, and then only at a circus — never in a zoo.

But in a ramshackle exhibit yard at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, in the summer of 1960, the extraordinary occurred: A 15,000-pound male, Thonglaw, mated with a much smaller female, Belle, and Belle became pregnant.

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TAGGED: Breeding, Elephants, Captivity, Zoo