Friday, August 26, 2005

Well well well- the Woodland Park Zoo upped and moved Bamboo on the sly last night. Poor sportsmanship, guys. Now they've made everyone mad. More updates to follow.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I've been helping artist Alex Gross on a book of his work, which the great sci fi writer Bruce Sterling wrote a forward for. We just found out Chronicle Books decided to take the project on with a large print run so we're all excited. Another great art book to look forward to!
" If I knew who this artist was- I'd spit in his face. This work is disgusting! "
So said the guy who wandered in the gallery at close tonight- in reference to Charles Krafft's work. He then stormed off as I sat slackjawed in shock. Well- I was expecting this actually. This show has some potentially controversial work...swastikas, guns, and grenades- all made of Delft painted porcelain. However- I'd been surprised how many people got that Krafft is making fun of this stuff. He's very anti-war and has openly mocked the knucklehead skinheads who are enamored of him. I'd been especially shocked and delighted by how many older people have come to the gallery to see this show and they LOVE it. But then there's always someone who wants to react and not think at what they are looking at for about 5 seconds. It's too bad.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Friends, I need some help.
The Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle has 4 elephants. One African, and three of the Asian elephants is named Bamboo- she's 38 I believe. Anyway- Bamboo has recently been exhibiting anti-social behavior- signs of stress and unhappiness. Because of her aggression towards the other elephants, the zoo felt it best to remove Bamboo from the Woodland Park Zoo.

There is a wonderful elephant sanctuary in Tennessee ( that offered to take her- on their own dime. The zoo said no, that they would rather send her to Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma. The PDZ is known for taking in "problem" elephants, elephants that zoos don't want anymore (for instance if an elephant has killed someone) Both zoos are part of the AZA (American Zoo Association) that has rigid rules for it's members (in some cases this is a good thing) The AZA does not like to send it's animals elsewhere. In this case, I (and others in the group who want to see Bamboo at the Sanctuary) feel that politics is taking precedence over animal welfare.

Sanctuaries and zoos are often at odds. Zoos are trying drastically to keep a good public perception about themselves, and sanctuaries are able to point out where zoos fail. Both sides are liable to talk smack about the other. In this case- the WPZ' s answer to our inquiries is that Bamboo's new behavior is a "bad habit" and not an indication of stress. Most elephant experts refute this. Also, if it's just a "bad habit" why are they sending her away? And why won't they consider the possibility of the Sanctuary which has an amazing success rate with elephants, is certified in everything it needs to be, has numerous documentaries made about it as well as winning many awards, and will take Bamboo in so she can freely roam thousands of acres with a proper herd? Not to mention the Sanctuary never beats its animals- and unfortunately our zoos do in the name of discipline (remember when they got crap for beating 2 year old Hansa a few years back?)
They say it's because the Sanctuary is not AZA certified (it's not a zoo. It IS a fully licenced sanctuary subject to rules and regulations though) They (WPZ) also say that acreage is not a factor- that there is no evidence elephants need room to roam about. I think we can all pretty much call bullshit on that one. In both zoos- the elephants get one acre to share. Bamboo has had one acre to live in her entire life, and she has lived longer than many of us!

I am trying to quickly raise awareness about this subject before Bamboo gets moved to Tacoma over labor day. If you can help me, please write the zoo and express your concern- just drop em an email. You'll get a form letter back- but at least it's pressure. Secondly- if you have ANY ideas or press contacts please let me know. If you want more info, records of all the conversations I've had with both parties, let me know.

I'm sick of animals suffering for human agendas, and I'm sick of not being able to do anything about it.
Yer pal,

send emails to : Bruce Bohmke

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee:
Woodland Park Zoo: