“Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said Monday during a news conference on the Valley fireand two other major fires still burning, that the state has recorded about 1,500 more fires than usual for this time of year. And it’s not over yet. “We don’t see an end to fire season in the months to come,” he said.”
Wildfires are the new normal
PAWS and its supporters are complaining that they are being targeted, picked on unfairly. First let’s just point out that PAWS and its affiliates have targeted and picked on animal owners and zoological facilities for many years. They are not exempt from scrutiny, not because quid pro quo but because they have made very public claims that they are the industry standard and the world’s best at just about everything, transport and animal care, leaders in protected contact, the moral higher authority on everything animal including disease prevention and treatment. But PAWS is not exempt from scrutiny, their claims of the best disease prevention protocols has been debunked during the Toronto Zoo elephant crisis. USDA and other government agency documents evidence a complete and utter failure at preventing the spread on tuberculosis and in fact having an onsite outbreak that infected humans and animals not previously infected with the disease. Their claims of the statpak as the gold standard of diagnosis and that they were the leaders in utilizing this process also fell apart like a wet cookie.As for transport that is a matter of opinion, if of course your opinion is that transporting any animal for an inhumane 85 hours by truck is some kind of high quality standard others should aspire to. And there is no evidence made public to assess the effects of this transport on the elephants. Except that within months the youngest Toronto elephant Thika was segregated from her family herd of 30+ years with unfounded claims bought hook line and sinker by the fandom of PAWS that it had been a forced herd, that Thika was aggressive to her family group. Again, this was disproved by the many years she spent with her herd without major issue. But PAWS and Zoocheck scoured their freedom of information documents from the zoo and found a couple of random non-issue occurrences they blew out of proportion just enough to justify their claims and further their agendas. Protect your image at all costs right?
It is more realistic to assume that Iringa was physically damaged from the transport and that Thika’s young and boisterous nature was a concern, a concern that she might knock over the physically frail and Injured Iringa who died 18 months later. And as soon as she died ta dah you are attempting to reintegrate Thika with Toka, what a convenient coincidence. So not only did none of the fandom scrutinize PAWS for having not one but two elephants living isolated and alone, Thika and Gypsy whose herd has all died off, they in fact supported this by not questioning it at all. Of course a zoo elephant or privately owned elephant living alone is a crime against humanity and all of the animal kingdom punishable by death according to what animal rights zealots post on social media. The contract with the Toronto Zoo clearly states that two health updates were required annually, months and months after arrival PAWS you send what basically amounts to a blog post where you harp back to health records from the elephants time at the Toronto Zoo, “oh this is better and that is better, we have cured everything” But freedom of information requests proved that PAWS did not send a single actual medical or veterinary document, no blood work nothing to support anything claimed in the report. The Zoo board, under the power and influence of city politicians who are pro PAWS would not invoke the contractual agreement to demand better more industry standard information on the health and welfare of our elephants. We could go on and on and on with evidence which suggest that PAWS should be scrutinized. To your loyal fans we ask, is it about idolizing an organization and an ideology or about caring about animal welfare? With little to no actual video footage, 30 seconds here and 30 seconds there and calculated photo ops how can anyone know the truth? Considering PAWS and Zoocheck were dishonest about tuberculosis at the facility, to the media, to the zoo and to the people of Toronto sorry if we are loath to trust them now. Causes of death are always somehow conveniently attributed to the former owner. Even Annie exposed onsite to undiagnosed tuberculosis in 2011, who tested as infected soon after then positive in June of 2012 was claimed to have died from foot ailments, the number one cause of death of elephants in captivity they stated, again conveniently pushing their anti-zoo agendas. This was the former zoo’s fault? Annie had lived at PAWS for almost 19 years. Why in 19 years were you unable to treat Annie? Why didn’t the rolling foothills of Calaveras County and the free range roaming aid her feet as PAWS claims it is supposed to? We await USDA FOI and we will see what Annie’s true cause of death was. We predict shades of Sabu and Rebecca.
So fast forward to today, where wildfires raging uncontrolled and endless drought are the new normal. Ironically when deputing to Toronto Councilors we raised this concern time and again, fear mongering they said. More ironically is that many of these councilors cite concerns with the effects of climate change and how to change and update our city management in accordance to new erratic and extreme weather conditions but our concerns about drought and wildfires was somehow pseudo-science. In fact as always our concerns were rational, fact and science based logic. So PAWS dodged this fiery bullet but what about the next fire or the one after that? What about the fire that comes from the west or the south or north? Where there is not a town or a highway to act as a buffer zone? Do you all really believe that goats and sprinklers will save those animals? In this time of extreme drought and subsequent threats from wildfires in Northern California PAWS should have an evacuation plan and the means execute said plan. You cannot afford to stand around begging elephants with treats to get them into crates and then on to trucks to get them to safety. The USDA and California Fish and Game should be demanding that PAWS find the means to operate a full scale evacuation if necessary. Simply saying oh hey were will stick it out, or we will stay here with our animals sounds all nice and martyr like but we don’t want martyrs we want safe animals. So to all you PAWS fans and to you Ed Stewart go ahead and complain, oh woe is me poor me they are picking on us. We understand how this solidifies your fanbase fanaticism, we get your marketing techniques and always have. But the doesn’t change the facts, other facilities, in particular ones you have harassed alongside your affiliates for years are held to high standards both legally and through the eyes of the public and you should be held to that same standard and those same rules regulations and laws, you are not infallible.
Keeping those animals on site exposed to that heavy smoke is unforgivable. You were offered an olive branch by people who by all accounts despise you and for you the feeling is mutual. But your animal’s lives are more important than a pissing match between you and your nemesis. But again we understand, accepting the help of people who use free contact with an elephant guide would undermine all the lobby work you are engaged in to ban it. So essentially in our eyes your animals and the people who support you were used for political power and gain. But here is the thing, don’t use our elephants or any other animal as a tool to achieve your personal agendas. That is exploitation. Don’t risk their lives to protect your ego and the reputation you have masterfully crafted over the years. Are you the Performing Animal Welfare Society or the Performing Animal Rights Society? Get an evacuation plan in place and put aside your polarized ideologies and fundraising agendas to put you animals first over agendas. Seriously, how much does it really cost to run a goat fire management program? Maybe you could use the money you fundraised in Mila’s name for those expenses.
So are you being attacked? Picked on? No, you are being scrutinized just like every animal organization should be, no one is exempt Ed and certainly not because you put the word sanctuary in your name and or have a bunch of big empty rolling hills that give the illusion of living in the wild. FYI, animals need enrichment, try throwing a few tires and balls in there already because it’s not the wild it’s a big, empty barren dry space, it is still captivity with nothing to do but wander around, eat and get fat.