For Immediate Release:
April 29, 2021
David Perle 202-483-7382
Salinas, Calif. – PETA has just obtained a necropsy report for Buffy, an elephant whose death at the Monterey Zoo was kept from the public—and in a letter sent this morning to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, PETA calls for an investigation into what appears to be highly questionable care that the document reveals she received before she died. If officials find that the Monterey Zoo failed to provide Buffy with adequate care, they may then revoke the operation’s permit to hold elephants.
Buffy was found dead on February 5 after 17 days of suffering from colic (or abdominal pain). The necropsy shows that she had eaten a large amount of sand that blocked and ruptured her large intestine—although no tests were conducted that would have detected that while she was alive—eventually causing blood poisoning. She was undoubtedly in agony when she died, alone and unaided, on the concrete floor of a barn. If the Monterey Zoo had performed essential diagnostic tests, the cause of her illness would likely have been determined and aggressively treated, potentially saving her life.
“This roadside zoo failed to administer a few essential tests that had the potential to spare Buffy an agonizing death,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA wants state officials to investigate exactly what went wrong and how she died and is calling for the facility’s last remaining elephant to be retired to an accredited sanctuary.”
Buffy is the third elephant to die under questionable circumstances at the Monterey Zoo in recent years. Paula was euthanized in January 2019 after she was unable to stand because of a painful joint condition, and Kristy died in October 2019 of a severe bacterial infection. Only one elephant now remains: Butch, who lacks the essential companionship of others of his species and is still being exploited by the Monterey Zoo for pricey public encounters and photo ops.
A PETA lawsuit challenging the Monterey Zoo’s use of weapons to control elephants is ongoing.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.