Close Exhibit Before More Elephants Die

Elephant 2 US Fish and Wildlife Service

Target: Dwight Lawson, Executive Director of Oklahoma City Zoo

Goal: Retire all of the elephants at the Oklahoma City Zoo to an accredited sanctuary and shut down the elephant exhibit.

Recently, an elephant named Watoto collapsed and died at a zoo in Seattle. The zoo’s two remaining elephants, Chai and Bamboo, were sent to the Oklahoma City Zoo rather than a sanctuary that was willing to take the two elephants in. Now, Chai has been found dead at the Oklahoma City Zoo in very similar circumstances to Watoto’s death.

It is time Bamboo and the four other elephants at the Oklahoma City Zoo are retired to an accredited sanctuary before another one dies. At a sanctuary, they will be surrounded by grass, trees, sunshine and other elephant companions.

Sign this petition and demand the zoo close its elephant exhibit and retire the remaining five elephants to an accredited sanctuary.


Dear Mr. Lawson,

Recently, an elephant named Chai passed away while in your care. Chai and Bamboo were sent to you from a zoo in Seattle after their other elephant, Watoto, passed away. It is time Bamboo and the four other elephants at your zoo are retired to an accredited sanctuary.

Elephants are very intelligent, curious and social animals. Your five elephants would thrive in a sanctuary filled with trees, grass, sunshine and other elephant companions. As of now, they are stuck in confinement for profit.

Please consider closing your elephant exhibit and sending these beautiful animals to an accredited sanctuary before another dies.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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  1. Which sanctuary Maxine?Do you know of 1 that has room, that has funds? Our elephant enclosure is far superior to most. Our zoo is far superior to most zoos. Have you ever been there?
    This petition is ridiculous. The results of the necropsy are not in.

    • Terri Mitchell says:

      The results of the necropsy are in now, Victoria, and they are damning. Your superior zoo hid the truth about Chai’s condition prior to death. She was unable to get up by herself twice in the two months before she died. She had skin abrasions from conflict, had lost over 1000 pounds after leaving Seattle, and now they admit they knew she had active herpes infection. OKC zoo is clearly unable or unwilling to provide the necessary resources to care for their elephants, to monitor the condition of those that present with illness or distress, and to protect them from each other.

      • Cindy Angelo says:

        Thank you Terri for sharing the facts about the abuse at this zoo. RIP Chai. We will free Bamboo.

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