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City Vote Says 'Stop Elephant Exhibit Construction'

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Yesterday, the LA City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee voted 3 to 2, recommending construction to halt on the LA Zoo's $42-million elephant exhibit. Originally given the go-ahead in 2006, Councilmember Tony Cardenas recently brought the issue back up saying that Billy, the lone zoo elephant, has pathological problems and that a city-owned elephant sanctuary would better suit him and any future elephants. The issue became heated with some of the largest crowds showing up to City Council meetings in recent memory. Yesterday's vote does not mean construction will stop, but is a heavy recommendation for when the full council votes on it. Those who support the exhibit going forward say USDA guidelines for sanctuaries are much less strict than those for zoos. The City's financial wing says stopping the exhibit after spending nearly $10 million also isn't such a good idea.