Panel Review

In response to the IDA complaint to USDA regarding Emily's aggression against Ruth and Ruth's injuries, the zoo hired consultants to review their elephant management program.

But the panel's behaviorist--Otto C. Fad--found that even when "Emily hit Ruth," as witnessed and recorded by zoo staff, it was not aggression. And the abrasions, lacerations and tusk marks that the zoo's staff recorded were inconsequential.

But then, Mr. Fad, the elephant care manager for Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL allows elephants in his care to perform dangerous 16-minute shows at the Stanleyville Theater in Busch Garden.

The second behaviorist--Vint Virga, D.V.M.--is a local small animal veterinarian who wrote a book about dogs with behavior problems. He now refers to himself as an "animal whisperer" and works exclusively for zoos. He has never been directly responsible for, nor studied, elephants.

The panel report, as might be expected, exonerates the zoo.

Panel Report - BPZ Elephants.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.6 MB