This report details findings from a study commissioned by Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants into public perceptions about the elephants housed at the Woodland Park Zoo. The study was conducted as part of Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants’ push for the retirement of the zoo’s elephants. The report outlines a variety of attitudes from Seattleites including their support for retiring the elephants, their perceptions of the credibility of the zoo’s task force on the topic, and the likelihood they would visit the zoo if there were no longer an elephant exhibit.
For more than seven years, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, a NARN campaign, has worked for the retirement of Bamboo, Chai, and Watoto so they may spend the rest of their lives in a sanctuary in a warmer climate with more space.
Several news stories have been published informing the public about the health and living conditions of elephants in zoo captivity, highlighting the Woodland Park Zoo. Following these stories, and years of criticism of the elephant program, the Woodland Park Zoo convened a Task Force to evaluate the condition of its elephants and the zoo’s elephant program.
Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants wanted to learn how Seattleites viewed or learned about the following issues:
- Retiring the elephants
- The value of keeping elephants in Seattle
- How Seattleites learned about elephant poaching
- The credibility of the Task Force
- Replacing the live elephant exhibit with an educational program without elephants
- The Woodland Park Zoo’s elephant breeding program
Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants wanted to understand all aspects of these issues by querying the public in an unbiased, representative way so that the results could be shared with the Zoo, Seattle City Council, SeattleMayor, King County Council, and constituents in order to help them make informed decisions.The link below will begin an automatic download of a PDF of this study.