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Hmmm, well first of all that was a statement made by Zoocheck’s Julie Woodyer based on an outdated and misleading list of the status of Zoos with elephants in North America. Her list was missing the very important factor of what zoos were in fact upgrading and expanding their exhibits and the numbers of available spots for African elephants in North American zoos as per the Elephant Managers Association’s recent reports, there were many facilities which met the criteria by the way. Well it is not like we expect Zoocheck to be honest but you do expect a taxpayer funded television network to attempt some semblance of impartiality, or at the very least do some sort of actual research. Or even further simply read the research provided to them by citizens who spent 2 years gathering factual evidence.
The zoo also said NO facilities on the West Coat due to the logistics and inhumane distance for travel.
The zoo also said no facilities with current or past issues with tuberculosis.
Oh I guess that answers the burning question as to why it took citizens accessing Freedom of Information documents to prove there had been a tuberculosis outbreak and two documented TB related deaths at the sanctuary rather than PAWS and Zoocheck telling the truth about that from the get go. Why the truth had to be dragged out of them tooth and nail. Yes that’s right the entire time Zoocheck, PAWS and Councillors were claiming there was no TB and that there had been no TB deaths at PAWS they knew full well that was NOT TRUE and that Rebecca died TB+ in January of 2011.
The CEO of the zoo had also been given a letter from PAWS ally and Director of the Detroit Zoo admitting there had been TB on site. On site transmission, not some elephant with an old infection which could be blamed on someone else ( for PAWS it is always someone else’s fault) . Annie got TB on site at PAWS when Rebecca was TB+ and the sanctuary had no idea of that positive status until after she died. She was able to expose her herd mates and one is STATPAK reactive and another, Annie TB+. Annie got Tuberculosis AT PAWS! Yes that is correct citizens of Toronto you were lied to and the zoo was censored and threatened with job losses if they dare tell you the truth.
I guess that is why one of the criteria laid out by the zoo and board was not to send our elephants to a facility with past or present issues with tuberculosis. Had PAWS told the truth about their tuberculosis issues they would have been fairly and justly ruled out as a potential home for our elephants. But abuse of political power and abuse of media power managed to disguise the truth, twist it and has allowed emotional dogma to override true animal welfare. They would all rather risk our elephants lives to a deadly disease than send them to the beautiful National Elephant Center in Florida.
It may seem like just three elephants to some but I ask you, do you want to be lied to by your elected officials? Do you want to be lied to by a taxpayer funded broadcast corporation? If they served their self interest ideologies on this issue what else will they lie to us about? What is next? Our pets? Our farmers? What we serve for dinner? Our democratic rights and freedoms? Should a handful of extreme liberals drenched in their own narcissistic ideologies socially engineer our lives as free thinking Canadians? Think about it.
“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”
After two years of dealing directly with animal rights supporters of the PAWS sanctuary it is hard not to come to the conclusions that these people are fanatics. More than fanatics, cult-like or even co-religionists who have been indoctrinated into a group think situation where nothing but de-programming will bring them back to the world of free thinking rationalists. I cannot recall even one time over the course of two years where anyone who was a member of this “group” was willing to have a rational debate and exchange of the facts without insulting or attacking us straight out of the starting gates. There has not been one time where the true believers have even presented a fact or evidence which would disprove the official documents which support that there indeed was a tuberculosis crisis at the sanctuary, one which was quietly covered up likely with the aid of USDA Field Specialist Dr. Denise Sofranko. Currently sanctuary supporters are being told that the tuberculosis at PAWS was either “cleared up” or proven to be “false”. When we ask for evidence our comments are deleted off social media or we are insulted, berated and harassed.
I personally have always maintained that these fanatics are like prey, easy pickings for the large animal rights groups who absorb them into the group think with sad pictures, catchy catch phrases and costly ad campaigns. Let’s face it they have millions of dollars invested in their ad and propaganda campaigns, mind control and manipulation has been a simple task for them. That angry army programmed to believe this is some us vs them battle for moral supremacy provides a lot of free marketing for the leaders of this movement.
At some point these organizations, HSUS Department of Anti Meat, PETA The Department of Anti Pets and their underlings the Department of We Hate Zoos Born free USA and In Defense of Animals decided to merge the Departments of We Hate Circuses and We hate Zoos. Their fight against elephants in zoos was not gaining the momentum they needed, well the money and power they needed. It was a brilliant move I’ll give them that, misguided and irrational but none the less it worked. Zoos and apparently science are now dirty words.
I guess if you live in a household where your philosophies are driven by what is handed to you by corporate think tanks with an agenda to control your daily actions and absorb you into the rank and file as a marketing puppet you likely would not be inclined to teach your children to pursue and succeed at logical fact based studies such as the maths and science or media literacy. Having an educated society is the key to economic prosperity and growth. Notably Canadians as a nation are not quite as enamoured with the need for celebrity leaders or icons. Repetitive slogans for emotionally driven campaigns which require you not to think constructively or think for one’s self is a form of mass media control it is no different than a corporate brand, corporate media or news agencies bringing you the message they want you to believe in. They depend on human laziness and apathy and feed off insecurity and the need to belong, to have purpose. The animal rights movement is no different than a corporate ad campaign for a car or a medication or a pair of designer shoes. It provides the same immediate gratification, that you are special, you have value that you are a member of a special class of people. But the emotional component of the AR movement provides an extra ingredient – the achievement of moral and intellectual superiority and the belonging to a group which will validate your achievement every day. There is no difference between the AR movements and fanatical religious movements. You would experience the same fanatical angry response if you walked into Wetsboro Baptist Church and told them their insane theories on the supposed correlation between acceptance of homosexuality and the destruction of American society was a falsehood, you would be verbally attacked based on unstable emotionally misguided hatred which twists facts into a skewed reality to suit personal agendas.
It is the agenda of a small few at the top, they make the money they have the power you do all the work – for free. You buy into their dogma without question. And aside from that personal validation all you get it return is social ostracising if you dare to question or dare to take a moderate point of view – if you dare to be rational, if you dare to think for yourself. You would be burned at the virtual cyber stake.
We have seen this kind of movement, this holier than thou mindset throughout history, we reflect on these movements from the past with disgust and disregard. We denounce it in the present. Yet you accept it in now, when animal rights have absorbed animal welfare movements and taken them to the level of extreme?
When the large animal rights groups merged the We Hate Zoos Department and the We Hate Circuses Departments they could now direct all the hate, rage and intolerance they inspire in it’s followers into one campaign which believed that aside from the wild the only place for these elephants was in a sanctuary. There are two sanctuaries, TES and PAWS. It is notable that TES does not have a designated “leader” anymore since the outing of their founder the illustrious Carol Buckley. She would be the one who taught her first elephant to ride roller skates. Although TES takes a quieter stance against captivity they are still backed by IDA, Born Free is the Department “manager” of PAWS.
PAWS however has vocal celebrity support, money and their spiritual leaders Pat and Ed. Most of the advertising campaigns to inspire anti zoo sentiment revolves around PAWS and elephants. It is indicative of their efforts to manipulate, a cult needs a leader. TES has no dynamic figurehead therefore the control of the army would not be as effective if they were more in the limelight. Furthermore TES appears to have more transparency with regards to disease and disease protocols. In the case of PAWS the main celebrity leader is Mr Misogynist abuser of women Bob Barker and the deceased Pat Derby, cults still worship leaders even if posthumously. Failed animal trainer, failed zoological expert, failed at everything until she figured out that elephants touch people’s hearts and open people’s wallets. It wasn’t until she and partner Ed Stewart realized that yes elephants do attract attention and make money that they began their elephant sanctuary and achieved success. It seems their alliances with larger animal rights groups aided in building on this success. Zoos don’t exploit elephants any more than PAWS does or the larger AR organizations which use elephants as poster children to funnel money into the bigger collective agenda. It is not a zoo which creates mass public interest in elephants, it is the elephant itself; iconic beautiful and threatened in the wild.
Pat’s previous animal hoard was almost entirely euthanized on her orders when she went bankrupt and she was too self righteous and arrogant to let anyone have her animals. No one could care for her animals the way she could, death was preferred. At that time when animals were being put down, quoted in her words in her own book she mentions the wolves gave birth to cubs. Gave birth? Why were these animals breeding? We thought you didn’t believe in breeding? None of the PAWS supporters ever ask that question; no one ever asks why she was breeding her wolves – EVER. Why was she breeding? What was she doing with the cubs? Selling them? The carcasses of dead animals she chose death over life for were bulldozed up and buried. Group think once again denies the truth allowing their leaders to have behaved in any manner in the past, in a way they would now vilify and attack someone for. With complete blind faith or forgiveness if you “rescue” animals now it doesn’t matter what you did them before, if you call your facility a sanctuary you are automatically exempt from scrutiny or accountability.
Zoos have increased their ability to keep elephants healthier and happier in zoos over the last 20 years however they are not allotted the same open minded tolerance from the army. Recently a study showed that foot ailments and infections in elephants in captivity are down and the main issue now facing elephants in zoos is weight. Experts have always claimed that foot ailments were a result of older more archaic methods of keeping elephants in zoos, as those methods changed the foot aliments have decreased. AR groups like Zoocheck like to tell people that foot infections are the leading cause of death in zoos, with of course has no supporting evidence, just another repetitive campaign slogan to brainwash their followers and to recruit more. And surely PAWS can relate to this issue of weight as their elephants are too heavy, and you don’t need to be an expert to see this. You do however have to be a free thinker with some semblance of common sense. Not surprisingly the commentary of PAWS supporters on social media upon seeing the Toronto Zoo elephants in videos after their arrival to the facility were riddled with statements claiming the girls are too thin, attacking the zoo implying they had no money to feed them, that they had been abused in their “prison”. Actually the Toronto Zoo elephant management team is award winning for their exercise management program which enabled the elephants to lose weight and remain physically fit. PAWS did not bother to learn the girl’s fitness routines from the zoo keepers so that perhaps they could teach it to their own elephants and maintain some routine for the TZoo3 to alleviate the stress of relocation.
A too heavy elephant is an elephant which cannot get back up if it goes down, an overweight elephant can develop a multitude of health issues. PAWS has no enrichment programs, no exercise programs, they believe wandering around in a field all day is enough for an animal to stay fit. So they free range eat without restrictions and are not exercised which of course leads to the weight issues. You can see in most of PAWS elephant pictures. You can’t deny that, you merely have to look at their photos. Will the army ask PAWS about this? Will the army ask for PAWS to start an enrichment program which encourages stretching of muscles and development of muscle tone and strength? No they will not because apparently if you are a fat elephant in a sanctuary this is magically ok and better than being a heavy elephant in a zoo. What is the point of 80acres to exercise their legs and joints if it is ineffective and without results causing obesity? What is the point of letting the animals gain too much weight – do you know anyone who has ever said to you I am so glad I got really fat I, feel so much healthier now? Or that being overweight has really helped the pain in their joints and legs or their arthritis?
Sanctuaries can let animals get dangerously overweight but if this happens in a zoo they are vilified? Toronto Zoo keepers are treated like villains and not a single army member notes that without the world class care and training provided by those keepers the Toronto Zoo elephants would not have been able to manage the inhumane and hypocritical road trip which was 84hrs in the crate and 70+hrs on the road without going down en route. And even now you can see in videos being posted by PAWS that despite their good health 2 of the older girls are now suffering from that road trip, Toka has a pronounced limp she never had before and Iringa’s gait is showing signs of being in severe pain. Not just on the front leg where she had a previous foot ailment but all over. Everyone keeps saying “they are ok!” and no one, not one person from the PAWS supporters has had the guts to stand up and ask why they are limping so badly. Why? You will be attacked by your peers for daring to question your leaders. Anyone else who has posted this question on their social media groups has had their comments removed almost immediately. They control the flow of information as they have for years, hence why you were never told the truth about TB. And now you think they will tell you the truth about these three elephants you all claim to care so much about? If you choose to ignore these burning questions it is clear that the cause means more to you than actual animal welfare.
A cult is a group of people who organize around a strong authority figure. Cults, like many other groups, attempt to expand their influence for the purposes of power or money. However, to achieve these ends, destructive cults employ a potent mixture of influence techniques and deception to attain psychological control over members and new recruits. This fundamental level of control is known alternatively as ‘brainwashing,’ ‘thought reform,’ or ‘mind control.’ A successful induction by a destructive cult displaces a person’s former identity and replaces it with a new one. That new identity may not be one that the person would have freely chosen under her own volition (Hassan, 1990).
What people “want” or “need” is always open to much interpretation. Needs and wants can also be influenced to a significant degree. Self-awareness and spirituality have become consumer goods on an open personal transformation marketplace complete with multimillion dollar packaging and advertising campaigns. Relatively basic needs such as the need for love and intimacy can be reinterpreted and intellectualized into abstract and metaphorical needs; the “lonely” person becomes the “spiritual seeker” in search of “true meaning in life,” “self- actualization” or a “sense of oneness with the cosmos.” With cults and mass therapies, the question of informed consent becomes a more difficult one to answer than it first seems. Considerable caution on the part of those groups offering “enlightenment” seems indicated.
Cult recruits are not any more likely to be mentally ill, less intelligent, or less well educated than the average population. Nor are they necessarily more gullible on average. They do tend, however, to be “seekers,” constantly looking for pat answers and magical solutions for personal or societal problems. They are often driven to find answers (any answer) to the great metaphysical questions, rather than live with uncertainty. Those who have a higher tolerance for ambiguity can live with the acceptance that such things are ultimately unknowable.
Despite likely sharing a multitude of common causes which aim to protect and preserve wild species or to increase animal welfare for animals in captivity thanks to the polarizing and premeditated effect of the us vs them campaign encouraged by the large animal rights groups leading the charge against zoos factions have been created, there is a divide which pits one team against another in a blood sport which involves the vehement rejection of anyone who does not share their belief systems 100%. Where in the world does any one group of people all share the exact same thinking on every subject without question?
PAWS is nothing more than a private zoo for the rich and famous, like the historical royal menageries of days gone by, while you, the subservient loyal peasant look on – through your computer screens and rose coloured glasses. They get to be with animals? They get to own animals and use them for anti zoo campaigns but zoos can’t have animals and use them to promote the needs of the wild world in crisis? They get to be forgiven for their past indiscretions but zoos do not? And you get to promote campaigns against zoos but we cannot campaign in their defence? To defend the value of zoos means we don’t care about animal welfare? The only prisoners in this debate are those who cannot escape being mentally polarized and trapped by their self appointed leaders. How come we only ever see the elephants at PAWS in ad campaigns and videos? What about the dozens of big cats, the bears and the primates? You want attention and big money? Show me the elephants.
Review the check list and see for yourselves. Anyone who has been a victim of these organized attacks in order to stifle information which might undermine the group think will recognize these traits quickly.
Watch this video. The Toronto Zoo elephant’s arrival at PAWs after a gruelling and inhumane 70hr road trip and 85hrs trapped and chained in their crates. Did Toka ever have a limp before? No she did not. Anyone from Toronto could FOI her health records, she had no arthritis, no lameness. But as you can see she is limping, quite badly. But according to PAWS everything is OK!
The low grumbling you hear is the PAWS matriarch, the high pitched noise is Toka, it is a fearful sound according to the multiple elephant experts we asked. Without the familiar faces of their keepers their stress levels are high, as previously stated it was selfish and self serving for PAWS to kick the Toronto Zoo keepers out. They were not thinking of the elephant’s needs first just their own bitter animosity.
The other factor to note in this video is the complete and total lack of QUARANTINE! Yes that’s right no quarantine, if the resident elephants are within spraying distance that’s not quarantine. Of course I keep forgetting that sanctuaries are magical places.
Here you can watch Iringa, struggling with her gait. She did have some arthritis and a previous foot ailment on the the front left leg previous to transport but as you can see she is struggling, her walk is not natural. The elephants appear confused and do not acknowledge the staff. Toka, famous for snatching her bale of hay between her tusks does not do it here. If you dont believe that these elephants have been traumatized and physically damaged as a result of this inhumane road transport and the bitter refusal to allow their keepers to help the elephants adjust to their new home then you care about your PAWS worship and not the welfare of these elephants. Where are pictures and videos of Thika? It has been days since we saw anything of her. Thank god for the Toronto Keepers who were able to coax her out of crate after an hour, she was terrified and traumatized. Why? Aside from the road trip, well do we have a story to share with you. Stay tuned. If your devoted blind faith in this move as an act of altruistic animal welfare has still not been tested it soon will be.
Since angry animal rights activists are attempting to bully and personally harass anyone who challenges their belief systems on the matter of PAWS, the Toronto Zoo elephant transfer and evidence of tuberculosis at the sanctuary we decided to migrate the blog to three more blog sites to make the information available to an even greater audience! We will also set up our own website and rename all of our Google docs to make them more accessible via internet search engines. Keep pushing and we will keep posting.
Zoos Matter has never published the personal photos or names of anyone who has disagreed with us. We believe in fair play. We publish the facts and we publish the truth. We believe in free thinking, democracy and are opposed to the corporate group think mind control of large animal rights groups. True animal welfare happens when we think for ourselves. If the only response you have to the facts which have been posted is to attack and viscously harass people then clearly what we are posting has some merit. So to those interested in what has these individuals so angry please review our posts and the corresponding facts and official documents.
If you are being bullied on the internet remember there are organizations to help you. http://stopcyberbullying.org/
It is disheartening in this day and age when so many young people are taking their lives due to reckless and malicious bullying and cyber bullying to see grown adults behaving in the same manner. What does this this say about your character and the validity of the animal welfare work you claim to do? PAWS is a public organization which makes many negative claims against zoos and who engaged in a campaign of hate towards the Toronto Zoo where only one side of the story was being told, their side. They made very public claims about being a TB free facility which influenced popular opinion and council votes on the matter of the Toronto Zoo elephants. We merely scratched the surface to challenge those statements and then shared the evidence we uncovered. We defended our zoo and we stood up for true animal welfare with no spiritual leaders to guide us, no handbooks to follow, no corporate animal rights money to spew out PR campaigns. The only reaction activists seem capable of is reactionary anger, hate and an abuse of people’s democratic right to free speech. You push we post, again and again. more and more and more. Do you really believe they need YOU to defend them? That your contribution singularly has any value to them? These animal rights groups have millions of dollars and celebrities, you are nothing more than an expendable peon to them. You are being used. You believe that a handful of citizens is bullying a massive wealthy coalition of animal rights organizations and they need you to help them? lol.
Did you ever wonder if the endless rage filled vitriol of PAWS supporters towards the Toronto Zoo helped fuel the dedication of some to research the truth about tuberculosis? If you had just shut your mouths for even a millisecond those facts may never have been uncovered? And did you ever wonder if your constant blathering about Zoos Matter, the people who researched TB at PAWS or the Toronto Zoo actually drives more supporters for the zoo or even drives away supporters of PAWS? Because you are the ones keeping this alive in social media for us and for that we are grateful. We have no money we are not funded by anyone so thanks for the free advertising!
Here’s the Pepsi Challenge for PAWS…if indeed PAWS are so confident that this journey has not been detrimental to these animals you should have absolutely no problems with allowing outsiders to witness the unloading and physical state of these 3 Elephants. Those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear …right??? So film it share it and prove it. From the moment they leave the crates. There is no reason not to make this public right away if in fact you think everything was A OK
We know that Winky from the Detroit Zoo collapsed a few times on her journey to PAWS and then she was unable to get up for over two days.
Show the Toronto Zoo elephants leaving their crates and being offloaded to prove that these animals have not suffered physically as a result of this inhumane road transport. As of 9:50am Sunday October 20, 2013 these animals have been chained in their crates for 72hrs.
It is time to start being honest PAWS.
The destination does not make the risks of this journey any less inhumane
The transport 4200km away to PAWS instead of half the distance to the National Elephant Center was cruel, selfish, hypocritical and self serving in the name of an anti zoo campaign and not in the name of true animal welfare. This is animal cruelty
Considered a controversial figure in the exotic animal lifestyle and industry Mr Terranova has been the target of animal rights activists for years. That is how they get their media attention and make it appear as if they have a bigger following than they do. They latch on like ambulance chasers to whomever or whatever is the media story of the day, just as they profit and gain from their exploitation of the Toronto Zoo elephants, using them as poster children for their movement. Despite what activists think of Mr. Terranova he was a witness to the failure of Active Environments failure to complete an elephant management job at the Dallas Zoo, just three years ago. This inability to complete this job was not listed on their resumes when they claimed to have moved 14 elephants and have 120yrs of combined experience. Perhaps they are including transport experience form the many times their sister company Ocean Adventures moved dolphins and false killer whales from Taiji, Japan’s the Cove to use them or sell them into the captive marine mammal industry?
This USDA testimony in a case involving Mr. Terranova evidences the USDA Elephant Field Specialist and animal rights/PAWS friendly Dr. Denise Sofranko’s incompetence as well as her successful attempt to contravene the USDA rules and regulations in the matter of Mr. Terranova. She doctored and manipulated a seizure order in accordance to her animal rights beliefs. Mr. Terranova’s lawyer points out how Ms. Sofranko is merely a vet, the kind which cares for dogs and cats and that her so called experience with elephants is not from any hands on experience. She uses the power of her position to harass zoos and circuses while allowing exemptions and lenience for sanctuaries like PAWS. She was the USDA representative who refused to cooperate with the Toronto Zoo vets when they were trying to conduct their due diligence on the PAWS sanctuary.
SHE REFUSED TO COOPERATE WITH THEM!
She is also responsible for aiding PAWS with keeping their tuberculosis outbreak quiet and aiding the effort to keep the sanctuary open when according to USDA TB management guidelines it should be considered under level 4 quarantine. In the same way that animal rights organizations have infiltrated the USDA Toronto Council has now invited these same organizations to infiltrate our Toronto Zoo with the sole purpose of closing it down and distributing the animals to their affiliated sanctuaries. This is the goal of Toronto City Council, they started with our elephants and now they are coming for the rest! This is a taxpayer owned zoo, it belongs to the people of this city not to a handful of animal liberationists on city council looking to pad their self serving egos.
October 11, 2013
My name is Doug Terranova. I have either worked with, handled, trained, or owned both African and Asian elephants for 43 years.
In February of 2010 I was hired as an elephant consultant by the Dallas Zoo to help facilitate the introduction of three separate pairs of African elephants into one compatible herd. I was aware that a company (Active Environments) had been on hand since December of 2009. Their representative was Margaret Whittaker. It was understood that Ms. Whittaker would be responsible for moving the two current elephants from one side of the zoo to the other. This involved crate training them, lifting them with a crane onto a flatbed truck, driving them across the zoo and unloading in the same manner.
By March of 2010 it was becoming apparent that Ms. Whittaker wasn’t going to be able to accomplish this task in a timely manner. I witnessed Ms. Whittaker continually blame an already shorthanded and stressed out elephant team for her inability to achieve her stated goal. I also witnessed Ms. Whittaker lose her composure while working with the elephant “Jenny” and scream and throw things in frustration.
By the middle of April Ms. Whittaker had ceased to be a relevant player in the move and Active Environments was released from the project. My duties involved working with the four elephants that were brought into quarantine, a position that required a great deal of time and, logistically split the team into two as it became difficult to travel between barns. The zoo hired a company, Natural Encounters, who brought their consultant, Alan Roocroft, into the team to work with the two elephants that were not in quarantine.
I am happy to report that, within the next five weeks Alan was able to accomplish the objective and those two elephants were moved safely into their new home.
Should there be any questions please feel free to contact me.