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City Council to Consider Elephant Sanctuary Today

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Photo by Anikia Malone via Flickr

Billy, the one elephant at the Los Angeles Zoo is said to have some pathological problems, an expert said yesterday. LAist commenters agreed. "Every single time I've been to the zoo here the elephant has been doing the same thing. Bobbing his head and sort of rocking side to side," one wrote. "Anyone that looks can see the space is tiny and boring. It's like watching the super depressing chained elephant scenes from Dumbo."

"He also walks in circles. It's really sad to watch," another chimed in.

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A $40 million 6-acre exhibit is set to open next year. The new Pachyderm Forest can hold up to five adult Asian elephants and three of their offspring. Officials say the exhibit will be spacious--three and a half acres will be available for them to roam around along with two pools and a waterfall.

Councilman Tony Cardenas wants to shut down the construction of the Pachyderm Forest and search for a 60-acre wildlife sanctuary for elephants. The idea was not approved by a City Council Committee last month.

In New York City, the Bronx Zoo will close their elephant exhibit if one or two of the three elephants die, citing that "only two elephants alone might be uneasy (three's is company) and only one elephant in the exhibit is 'inhumane,'" Gothamist reported in 2006. Here in Los Angeles, Billy is the only elephant.