Elephant Rescue

Elephant Rescue
SEATTLE - The Pacific Northwest is no stranger to animal rescue campaigns.

There was Ivan the gorilla, kept at a Tacoma variety store before being moved to an Atlanta zoo. There was also Keiko, the orca whale released into the north Atlantic.

Now there's Tina, a 33-year-old Asian elephant being kept at the Greater Vancouver Zoo in British Columbia.

A Duvall woman is working to get the elephant moved.

Tina is bored and lonely. The animal was born in Portland, and has spent the last 30 years at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.

A companion elephant left last year, and Tina is now suffering in a small enclosure with hard floors and too little stimulation.

Even though she lives hundreds of miles from Vancouver, a Seattle area woman is working to get the elephant to a better environment.

Nicole Meyer heard about the elephant last December. Since then she's made many trips to Vancouver to document the animal's chronic foot problems and disturbing behavior.

Now she's put up a website friendsoftina.com.

She wants the privately owned zoo to allow Tina to go to an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee.

Meyer hopes that one day she'll see pictures of Tina on the sanctuary website. "I'm hopeful we'll see her with a family group, healthy, splashing in the water. I know they would take good care of her and they really want her there."

But at least one keeper is expressing concern about Tina's ability to make the trip.

Jamie Dorgan or the Greater Vancouver Zoo says "With Tina's health we don't want to send her on a very long trip. We don't want to load her on the truck for a long trip because it might not be very good for her."

Nicole Meyer says while another zoo might be better than this, the Tennessee sanctuary is the best spot for Tina and she's hoping the zoo owners will agree and get the elephant on her way before it's too late.

The Zoo could make a decision as soon as this week.