MP Demands Charges Against Deadbeat Elephant Mother
|BC Conservative MP Randy White: "That elephant should be locked up."|
Conservative MP Randy White has demanded that Maharani, a 14-year-old Asian
elephant at the Calgary Zoo, be charged with child abandonment after she
rejected her three-week-old calf.
The calf died earlier this week causing an uproar of grief across the
country and around the world.
Officials from the zoo choked back tears as they announced the baby
elephant's death on December 8. Since then, people from across the globe
have written letters, sent gifts and held candlelight vigils to express
their sorrow over the calf's untimely passing.
Speaking from the foyer of Parliament Hill yesterday, however, White focused
his rage at the "deadbeat" mother, who spurned her pachyderme offspring.
"This elephant should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for
wanton disregard of her baby," exclaimed White. "Otherwise, the message
we're sending to our elephants is that it's perfectly OK to abandon
your...whatever it is you call a baby elephant. Just live your life for
yourself, there aren't any consequences for your actions. So what if you got
pregnant? You can abandon the kid, go back to your pen and live it up as if
nothing happened. It's preposterous."
While animal behaviourists and zoologists have explained that it is fairly
common for first-time elephant mothers in captivity to reject their babies,
White would hear none of it.
"I don't care if it's common, the zoo lobby is trying to make excuses
abhorrent behaviour. Nobody is above the law in this country. Not even
elephants, and that includes Asian elephants," continued White, the
Law-and-Order critic for the Conservative Party. "We're in Canada, and
laws of the land should apply."
A spokesperson for Calgary Police said that no investigation is underway at
this time. However, Herman Barnum, the federal Minister of Elephants, has
vowed to "look into" the matter, as per White's request during yesterday's
Posted on December 11th, 2004