By Kirsten Massebeau
On February 7, 2013 the Portland Oregon Zoo announced that they had purchased Rose Tu’s new calve Lily and the father to Lily and Sumadra, Tusko who has been on loan since 2005. The Zoo has paid $400,000 for both elephants permanently ending their contract with “Have Trunk will Travel”! (Source)
On December 3, 2012 it was revealed by the Seattle Times that Rose Tu’s new calve was owned by the traveling elephant circus, “Have Trunk will Travel” and could be seized one month after the birth.
Kari Johnson, who co-owns the business with her husband, Gary, confirmed Monday that Have Trunk Will Travel owns legal rights to the newborn under a contract signed with the Oregon Zoo in 2005. Details of the newborn’s future have not been worked out, she said.
“We are just thrilled,” Johnson said. “We’ll go for a visit soon. I just want to hug her.” (source)
Have Trunk will Travel has a controversial past and present relationship with the elephants they house, own, train, and use in their traveling circus. Under cover video secretly taken by ADI in 2007 documented cruel and abusive treatment of elephants. “The company has generated controversy over its 30-year history for its use of chains and bullhooks — long-handled, clawed-end training tools used to discipline elephants and train them to perform tricks”. (Source)
Thanks to the concerns of Oregonians and elephant advocates nationwide the Oregon Zoo has ended their relationship with Have Trunk Will Travel. Lily and Tusko are now owned by the Oregon Zoo and will not be subjected to a life of suffering with the travel circus. Although good news for the two elephants we at Clatsop Animal Advocates are hoping that Lily’s story will bring awareness and support for the elephants and animals that continue to suffer in circuses and entertainment industry worldwide.