The US Fish and Wildlife Service plans to destroy six tons of elephant ivory on Thursday to draw attention to the ongoing decimation of wild elephants by poachers. Wildlife service officials will grind up tusks, trinkets and carvings seized from traffickers over the past 25 years. The tusks are typically trafficked in the illegal Chinese and Japanese ivory market.
For years, animal rights groups have been raising concerns about the health and treatment of elephants at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, particularly after the death of six-year-old elephant Hansa. And seven months ago, the Zoo’s board assembled a task force to look at this issue. Their final report says the overall health of elephants at Woodland Park Zoo is good, and they should breed more.
Critics of Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo say that the elephants there are not being treated well and that they don’t do well in captivity. Defenders say zoos are key to global conservation efforts. Should zoos, including Woodland Park, continue to display elephants?
David Hyde talks with Carter Roberts, president and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund, University of Guelph researcher Georgia Mason who has studied elephants in zoos, and Michael Berens, the investigative reporter for the Seattle Times who has written about the Woodland Park Zoo.
It's been 25 years since the Exxon Valdez ran aground off the coast of Alaska, spilling millions of gallons of oil into Prince William Sound.
The impact on wildlife was devastating. Cleanup crews poured into the nearby port town, also called Valdez, where an animal rescue center was set up.
"The chaos is incredibly difficult to describe or even imagine," says LJ Evans, a local resident who volunteered to help. "Somebody came back with the first bird — the reporters were so frantic, somebody got in a fight trying to take a picture of this poor little oiled bird."