Thursday, August 7, 2008

Jenny the elephant: 22 years of silence

Here in Dallas, we've had several weeks now of "Jenny" talk. Who is Jenny?

She's an elephant at the Dallas Zoo, where she's been for 22 years. The zoo's other elephant died a few months ago, so the Dallas Zoo is looking for a place to relocate Jenny.

That's when the controversy began. The Dallas Zoo decided that Jenny would be transferred to a safari park in Puebla, Mexico, this fall. But some people want her to be transferred to a sanctuary in Tennessee.

I can't argue that that the Mexico safari park will be better than the Tennessee sanctuary, but the safari park is considered one of the top zoos in Latin America. Of course, the Tennessee sanctuary will give her room to roam in a 300-acre enclosure with three other elephants. The one in Mexico is only five acres, and would be shared with one other elephant.

"Her life will be a hell in Mexico," one person was quoted in The Dallas Morning News.

Here's what I find annoying. For 22 years, Jenny was at the Dallas Zoo sharing a tiny space of one-sixth of an acre with another elephant. I always thought it was sad when I went to the zoo.

Where were all these people the last 22 years? Why weren't they complaining about the cramped conditions? Now everybody is irate, and one is dressing up in an elephant costume.

Five acres or 300, the move will be great for Jenny. I don't get into political hot topics often because I'm no more qualified than anyone else to talk about them. But it's crazy how much attention this has attracted.