Here is an update on this post from June 17.
From this morning's Chicago Sun-Times:
Lincoln Park Zoo is telling a North Side alderman that when it comes to her proposed ordinance restricting pachyderms, she needs to pack it up.
Ald. Mary Ann Smith (48th) is set to introduce an ordinance this week that would require any elephant in the city to have at least 10 acres of room -- 5 inside and 5 outside. The circus industry has criticized the proposed ordinance, but it would cover zoo elephants as well.
In a letter sent to Smith last week, Lincoln Park Zoo director Kevin Bell invokes Mayor Daley -- the lead bull of city government, as it were -- in knocking Smith's effort.
"Mayor Richard M. Daley a decade ago moved our zoo to private management in part to ensure that wildlife experts -- not government -- were making the decisions,'' Bell wrote. Smith's proposed space requirement is "not supported by any scientific evidence,'' he wrote.
Smith, who has been advised by animal-rights groups such as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, thinks elephants need more space to roam to stay healthy. She noted the July Smithsonian magazine cover story detailing how experts, using global positioning satellites, have tracked some elephants in West Africa walking as much as 35 miles a day in search of water.
At zoo's Ald. Smith, water is brought to the elephants.
I'd like to add, although Smith's proposed ordinance does not ban elephants within Chicago per se, having 10 acres of open space per pachyderm is an impossibilty in Chicago, and Smith knows that.