Wankie the elephant
Posted at 7:13 AM (PST) on Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Chicago Sun-Times

In the wake of the recent death of the elephant Peaches at Lincoln Park Zoo, actress and animal rights activist Gillian Anderson has written state Sen. John Cullerton and state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz urging them to encourage zoo officials to ship Wankie -- the zoo's sole surviving African elephant -- to a warm-weather sanctuary.

Anderson is contacting Cullerton and Feigenholtz since their districts include the zoo.

As first reported here last fall, she wrote to zoo director Kevin Bell on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals after the elephant Tatima died in October. At that time, Anderson asked that both Wankie and Peaches be shipped to warmer climes. PETA has offered to subsidize Wankie's transportation to one of two warm-weather sanctuaries where the 35-year-old pachyderm can "roam freely on hundreds of acres in the company of other African elephants."

In her letter to lawmakers, Anderson stresses a sanctuary is preferable, "rather than shuffle her off to more problems at another zoo."

At this point, a zoo committee is considering where to send Wankie, but no decision has yet been reached.