Victory Close For Tina, Jewel, and Queenie?
For two years, IDA and our members have been working tirelessly on behalf of three elephants - Jewel, Tina, and Queenie - suffering in a travelling circus. IDA members have written tens of thousands of letters and e-mails to their congressional Representatives, Senators, and the USDA. You've made thousands of phone calls. We've held many demos, across the nation, wherever these poor creatures have been forced to perform their demeaning, unnatural stunts. And, with the assistance of caring people, we have documented their deteriorating condition as they traveled from city to city in the hands of their incompetent and abusive handler.
It appears our efforts have paid off.
Last Saturday, August 15, after two years of IDA complaints regarding the care and treatment of these elephants, the USDA moved to confiscate Jewel, the most emaciated of the three ailing elephants. But the USDA temporarily abandoned the mission in the face of Davenport's refusal to cooperate. Davenport's refusal to cooperate with that order now makes him subject to arrest by federal authorities.
And the story gets better. The Houston Chronicle reports that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is preparing to file charges against Davenport for violating the U.S. Endangered Species Act by "purchasing" Tina and Jewel for $150,000 without getting the required permit. Nearly two years after the FWS initiated its investigation based on an IDA complaint, the agency told the Houston Chronicle that the transaction was indeed illegal - as IDA argued - and announced their intention to support U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) efforts to seize the elephants.
That Houston Chronicle story also stated that Davenport has relented, in the face of his mounting legal woes, and is now preparing to relinquish all three elephants!
This story is developing day by day - minute by minute, actually. We hope that the federal agencies will use the threat of charges and arrest to get all three elephants to a sanctuary, soon.
By the time you read this, we hope to be preparing a new alert to send you announcing the final victory - and the transfer of the elephants to a happier home.