‘Free Billy’ Movement Says Elephant Showing Signs of Mental Illness

An animals rights group has been pushing to ‘Free Billy’ in LA. Billy is one of four wild Asian elephants at the LA Zoo. He’s lived there for about 30 years. But Kiersten Cluster - with Elephant Guardians of Los Angeles – says he’s showing signs of physical and mental illness after being cooped up in a one-acre enclosure, away from other female elephants.

"He bobs his head and he rocks back and forth. And these are behaviors that are only seen in captive elephants. These swaying and rocking behaviors are symptoms of stress and trauma," Cluster told KFI's Monica Rix.

Cluster says the group has petitioned the LA City Council to pass a motion to get Billy moved to a 15- acre sanctuary in northern California.

"30 years in public service. He's done his time."

An independent panel of vets are set to evaluate Billy's health and report back to city officials for a potential transfer.

"He's surrounded by freeways. Elephants have incredible sensitive hearing and they also feel vibrations through their feet. So all of that noise pollution is directly impacting him everyday."

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