Queenie is the elephant left behind when the USDA took custody of Tina and Jewel and sent them to the San Diego Zoo. IDA members' calls and letters on her behalf have had quite an impact at the USDA. We have brought Queenie's plight to the attention of the highest levels of this agency.
Some IDA members report that when the secretary for USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack answered her phone, she asked immediately, "Is this about Queenie?"
At this point it is crucial that we keep up the pressure. Let's keep the USDA's e-mail, phone lines, and fax machines overwhelmingly busy. (See below for contact information).
The USDA needs to hear this message, loud and clear: it has been nearly two months since Queenie was left alone with Will Davenport, whose egregious history of mistreating elephants is well known. When Tina and Jewel were taken, Davenport relinquished his exhibitor's license - but we must not let the USDA claim it has no further authority in the matter. The agency can and must aggressively pursue all legal remedies against Davenport for his many violations of the Animal Welfare Act - and utilize those legal avenues to ensure that Queenie spends the rest of her life at the Performing Animal Welfare Sanctuary (PAWS) or at The Elephant Sanctuary (TES). She has suffered enough.
Please, today and every day until you see pictures of Queenie roaming free at a sanctuary, call and email these USDA officials:
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
Phone: 202 720-3631, Fax: 202-720-2166
Acting APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea
Phone: 202-720-3861 Email: Kevin.A.Shea@usda.gov
Although we are disappointed that Tina and Jewel were not transferred to a sanctuary, they do appear to be recovering well at the San Diego Zoo, according to blog entries on their progress. We are grateful that the zoo is taking care of these two girls, who have suffered so much in their sad lives in the circus.
IDA will continue to advocate for Queenie until she is free - at the same time, our attention is also on the many other elephants abused by the circus industry (see below).