SOURCE: Last Chance for Animals

August 23, 2006 22:12 ET

Group Blasts L.A. Zoo Summary of Elephant Necropsy

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 23, 2006 -- Disgusted at the Los Angeles Zoo's summary of the necropsy for the Asian elephant, Gita, that died June 10th, Last Chance for Animals (LCA), an L.A.-based animal advocacy organization, will hold a news conference at the L.A. Zoo tomorrow to demand Mayor Villaraigosa permanently close down the elephant exhibit, release the remaining two elephants to sanctuary and stop wasting taxpayer money.

"This necropsy does not excuse the L.A. Zoo from being responsible for Gita's death; in fact, it puts the blame right in their lap. The necropsy confirms what we have been saying for years... the extreme cases of arthritis, the abscesses, the 'very severe degenerative joint disease,' the blood clots; all are related to the inability of the Zoo to provide the proper environment and care for the elephants. The people of Los Angeles should not be paying their tax dollars to look at unhappy and unhealthy elephants. John Lewis calls it education, I call it miseducation," states Chris DeRose, President & Founder, Last Chance for Animals.

Gita, the 48-year-old Asian elephant at the L.A. Zoo, died June 10th, 2006 after the Zoo failed to provide medical attention for 12 - 17 hours. Gita suffered from chronic foot problems and arthritis -- the two leading causes of death in captive elephants.

"The circumstances surrounding Gita's life AND death are reprehensible. How the Zoo can claim to provide the best possible care for these elephants is beyond me. John Lewis should be ashamed of himself. Mayor Villaraigosa should stand up, be a man and keep his word to release the elephants to sanctuary," said DeRose.

WHEN:      Thursday, August 24, 2006 @ 12:00 Noon

WHERE:     Los Angeles Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027

SPEAKERS:  Chris DeRose, President of Last Chance for Animals
           Members of the Animal Community still confirming
Last Chance for Animals (LCA), a national animal rights organization based in Los Angeles, has been active for more than two decades. Founded and led by animal expert, author and actor, Chris DeRose, LCA fights for the rights of animals by conducting investigations that expose animal cruelty, launching public awareness campaigns, pushing animal friendly legislation and helping prosecute animal abusers. For more information, visit www.LCAnimal.org.

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