City Councilman Paul Koretz held a news conference outside the Los Angeles Zoo Tuesday morning. He announced he will introduce a motion calling for Billy the elephant to be moved from the zoo to a sanctuary. Billy has been at the zoo since 1989.
Koretz told KFI's Andrew Mollenbeck, Billy's life is "made up of mostly overly small enclosures, hard packed ground and inadequate exercise.
Billy's caretakers say he's happy and healthy. Los Angeles Zoo director, John Lewis, told Mollenbeck Billy is not completely isolated from the other elephants, "they touch they share food, they talk to each other, they socialize."
The LA Daily News reported back in 2012 a judge ruled the zoo had to stop using bullhooks and electric prods on Billy. The ruling was in in response to a lawsuit filed that alleged animal abuse by zoo workers.
Superior Court Judge John L. Segal required the zoo to exercise the elephants at least two hours a day and that the soil of their enclosure be tilled regularly to avoid health issues. In his ruling, Segal wrote that the Zoo’s exhibit “is not a happy place for elephants, nor is it for members of the public who go to the zoo and recognize that the elephants are neither thriving, happy, nor content."
The elephant has lived at the zoo almost 30 years, he was a gift from Malaysia.