Friday, December 7, 2012

Elephant Controversy
Elephant breeding loan agreement between the Oregon Zoo and Have Trunk Will Travel
 The owners of Have Trunk Will Travel, the California company at the center of this week's controversy over ownership and possession of the Oregon Zoo's newborn calf, sent this letter Thursday morning to the Seattle Times, disputing what they call "inaccurate and inflammatory news reports.":

 December 6, 2012

Letter to the Editor

Seattle Times
Have Trunk Will Travel would like to correct the inaccurate and inflammatory news reports that led people to believe that we were going to take Rose-Tu's calf from her. This unnecessary controversy has taken away from the joy and celebration of the birth of the beautiful, healthy elephant calf born to Rose-Tu and Tusko. She is being nursed and nurtured by her mother. That is a great accomplishment. This birth epitomizes what we work toward and what we care about.  

Have Trunk Will Travel is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. We partner with zoos and others and work together to enhance the propagation and survival of this endangered species. The breeding loan agreement we have with the Oregon Zoo is common among elephant holding facilities. We cooperate and collaborate with many zoos.

We, along with our dedicated staff, care for our elephants every day. We donate our time and money for the elephant causes we believe in. We are proud to work with and for our elephants and earn the revenue it takes to care for them and to support our breeding program and the conservation work we contribute to.

We regret that misinformation has caused our partners and the public distress. The heavily edited video purporting abuse of our elephants taken by an animal rights extremist group is being run along with the story. The seven year old video is a blatant attempt to malign our character and reputation. The video was at the heart of a lawsuit brought against us by an animal rights extremist group. That case was dismissed with prejudice. No legitimate animal welfare agency or elephant management group has given the video any credence.

Everyone at Have Trunk Will Travel is grateful for the outpouring of support from our friends, fans, the elephant and zoo communities and especially the Oregon Zoo. We look forward to meeting the new baby.

Gary and Kari Johnson

Have Trunk Will Travel, Inc. 
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