Thomas Ramey Watson

Why Are Baby Elephants Being Sold to Entertainment Companies?

Last week Rose-tu, an Asian elephant at the Oregon Zoo, made headlines for giving birth to a healthy 300 pound baby girl who is now the center of a campaign to find her a name and a controversy over her future.

“The outpouring support for the zoo and its newest resident has been incredible,” said Kim Smith, zoo director. “Rose-Tu and her calf are doing well. They’re bonding and comfortable with each other. Now it’s time to give the calf a name that suits her.”

What the zoo failed to tell everyone was that they don’t own this little one. According to the Seattle Times, the newborn is property of Have Trunk Will Travel, a private company that “rents out pachyderms to the entertainment industry, stages circus like events and offers elephant rides at $500 an hour.”

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