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Give Them Back!

8:22 AM EDT on June 16, 2008

If you are willing to traverse the labyrinth that is NewsOK.com, it is amazing what you will find. In this case, it was a cause for me to become fired up about.

You see, in one of the deep, dark corners of The Dark Tower's website is a section called "Elephant Nation" which I clicked on thinking it would lead me to the editorial page. Instead it was about actual long nosed mammals (not Lance Cargill). What I learned there is that the Oklahoma City Zoo recently transported their elephants, Asha and Chandra, to the Tulsa Zoo. As the father of a child who loves the elephants at the OKC Zoo, I am appalled.

If I was real journalist and wanted to get the OKC Zoo's side of the story, I probably would have asked them for a comment. Instead, I'll just use The Oklahoman's source, some dude from an Oregon Zoo:

During the 1950s and '60s, the zoo world had a boom in elephant imports and therefore elephant habitat construction. The elephant habitat at the Oklahoma City Zoo was built in the 1950s.

"Elephants are really strong animals so it made sense to build these fortresses they couldn't tear down," (Oregon Zoo dude) said. But the fortresses weren't exactly comfortable for the elephants. They often were chained at night when zookeepers left, and walking on concrete day after day gave many of the animals arthritis and foot problems.

Zoo administrators began changing elephant living conditions in the 1990s, and conditions continue to improve, (Oregon Zoo dude) said.

Big deal. Sure the elephants should probably have an improved habitat, and the $16MM upgrade will eventually open the door for a larger herd of pachyderms. I'm still against this whole seedy affair based on principle. It runs contrary to the natural course of things.

I am not a single guy, but what I remember of the mating ritual is that guys always have to do the work when it comes to pairing up. We always have to be the one who approaches the woman at the bar. We have to make the initial call three days later. Then we even have to shell out a bunch of money to impress them while they act disinterested. (Maybe that was just me.)

Then, here in Oklahoma City we ship out our lady elephants to Tulsa, a place which we should never give concessions. (Jerry may have a different take on this.) There they will be hooked up with a dude named "Sneezy" who, I imagine, will knock them up and then file bankruptcy when called asked to pony up for child support.

We can't let this happen. I demand that the Tulsa Zoo return our elephants now. In return, we will give them the rights to first refusal on Shane Jett's brilliant idea.

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