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Group Wants Elephants Removed from Topeka Zoo

elephantOne of two elephants housed at the Topeka Zoo. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

An animal rights organization continues to push for the removal of two elephants from the Topeka Zoo after details from an inspection were released this week. The USDA inspected the elephant facility after a complaint was filed. The report lists three problems with the elephants, including their diet, foot care and a skin condition. Zoo Director Brendan Wiley said the skin issue has healed, the elephants are getting foot care and caretakers have thoroughly researched the elephants' diet. While he believes the items noted in the USDA report are minor, he says they are filing an appeal because they don't want animal rights organizations to try to put a spin on the findings.

The California-based group “In Defense of Animals” doesn't agree with Wiley's assessment. Neither does the Lawrence-based group “Animal Outreach of Kansas.” Those organizations say the USDA inspection report shows there are serious problems at the zoo. They're pushing for the elephants to be relocated to a different facility. The Topeka City Council is scheduled to review the issue at its meeting on Tuesday.


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