Elephants HSUS “saved” are still in Milwaukee

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1994:

MILWAUKEE––The long-awaited
transfer of the former Milwaukee County Zoo
elephants Tamara and Annie to the Performing
Animal Welfare Society sanctuary in Galt,
California, originally set for September, has
been postponed until spring.
PAWS president Pat Derby said the
delay is “primarily because the trailer training
for the elephants is going very slowly. Our
consultant Ellen Leech and the zoo staff have
been working with the elephants using rewards
and positive reinforcement,” she added. “We
expect that by spring the elephants will be
ready to load without undue stress.”

A different reason surfaced in an
urgent appeal Derby sent to potential major
donors on October 27. “PAWS is $80,000
short to finish the facility for two aging ele-
phants we are trying to rescue from a midwest-
ern zoo,” the appeal began. “Initially all fund-
ing, including ongoing care for life, was
pledged to us by a very large humane society.
However, after we committed to the rescue,
they reduced their support to 20%, leaving
PAWS and the elephants in a crisis.”
The elephants––and another, Lota––
became a cause celebre in 1991 when Humane
Society of the U.S. investigator Michael
Winikoff alleged they had been abused at the
zoo. Campaigning for their release to PAWS,
HSUS filed an ongoing lawsuit, seeking to
remove Lota from the Hawthorn Corporation,
which manages 13 performing elephants.
Cynthia Hubert of McClatchy News
Services reported in late 1993 that HSUS was
“trying to raise $150,000 to expand the PAWS
sanctuary to accommodate the animals.”
“Initially it was our understanding
and that of the Wisconsin Animal Protection
Society and the Milwaukee County
Executive’s office,” Derby confirmed, “that
funding for the project would be underwritten
by HSUS. HSUS has donated $35,000, and
the Zoological Society of Milwaukee County
has donated $5,000 and pledged another
$10,000 to be paid over the next two years.”
HSUS executives had no comment.
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