In January, In Defense of Animals released a list of what it called the “10 Worst Zoos for Elephants.” Among those zoos listed was the Cameron Park Zoo, in Texas. IDA complained that,
Even though companionship is essential to elephants’ psychological health, this Texas zoo displays and keeps a single elephant.
In fact, the Cameron Park Zoo has had two African elephants since its elephant exhibit opened in 1993, except for a brief period in 1996 after an aging elephant died.
IDA says it got the information from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association’s database of zoo animals, but didn’t bother to call the zoos it listed as the “10 Worst” to verify that information. IDA’s Catherine Doyle told the Waco Herald-Tribune,
It wasn’t meant to be a scientific study. It was an opinion piece. . . . The most important thing is that the public be educated about issues with elephants in zoos. These animals are suffering in zoos and dying in zoos because of captivity-induced conditions.
Certainly one should never expect to receive anything scientific from IDA, just as you shouldn’t expect anything historic from the t-shirt they sell with a bogus quote from Abraham Lincoln.
Its the activism that counts — screw the accuracy.
Animal rights group wrongly harangues Cameron Park Zoo. J.B. Smith, Waco Herald-Tribune, January 11, 2005.