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City Council to Decide on LA Zoo's Elephant in the Room

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Holy Jumanji! A resolution may be coming soon for the contentious expansion to the LA Zoo, writes the Los Angeles Times' Carla Hall. Today, the City Council will discuss whether the $42 million project, funded by a bond measure, city money and private donations, should be shut down.The addition would add 3.6 acres of pachyderm living space, but detractors say this is not enough for the elephants, of which now there's only one—a 23-year-old male with a neurotic twitch—but should be at least one more (they want to breed babies). The plan was first halted two years ago by Mayor Villaraigosa, who ordered a study commissioned, which ultimately suggested the project move forward. Later, a citizen's lawsuit that aimed to prevent the zoo from holding any elephants failed. Of course, celebrities had something to say about the matter: Lily Tomlin called zoos "Guantanamo" for elephants. Now, Councilman Tony Cardenas has gotten into the fray, calling for the project to be canned, saying veterinarians convinced him that the new enclosure is too small. We'll keep you updated on this trunk show. [Shown: Gita, the LA Zoo's deceased former resident; image via elephants.com]
· Elephant exhibit raising a ruckus [LA Times]
· Zoo Expansion Halted? [Curbed LA]

Los Angeles Zoo

5333 Zoo Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90027