In 2010, the city of New Bedford's Buttonwood Park Zoo revealed its draft Master Plan, one which was purportedly to expand the zoo for Ruth & Emily. But neither elephant would have lived to see it, as even the zoo later acknowledged. It would have taken years just to raise the hefty price tag.
The plan was defeated, but it created a discussion about giving Ruth & Emily a better life--one in which they could be elephants, not specimens on exhibit.
That led to our formation, and many petitions, educational events, tabling demonstrations at the zoo, presentations at the city council, meetings with the mayor and zoo director, more petitions, and letter writing campaigns. And it meant getting records from the city and zoo so we could verify what we were witnessing.
We are now embarking on a legal action against the City of New Bedford, MA under the Endangered Species Act. There are fewer than 30,000 Asian elephants left in the world, and there are laws in place to protect them. We believe these two deserve that protection.