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Commerford Zoo Removes Facebook Page After NhRP Supporters Urge Them to #FreeMinnie

By Courtney Fern

Thank you to everyone who shared our update on Minnie last week and completed the two action items to help free her from the Commerford Zoo to a sanctuary. We know the records were extremely difficult to read and that the USDAā€™s repeated failures to enforce existing laws and protect Beulah, Karen, and Minnie are infuriating. As one sign of the power of your words, your compassion, and your advocacy, the Commerford Zoo has now taken down their new Facebook page following the many comments posted by NhRP supporters. Clearly, the messageā€”that they must do the right thing and release Minnie to an elephant sanctuaryā€”came through loud and clear.

Whether the Commerford Zoo will finally, for the first time, act in Minnieā€™s best interest and send her to a sanctuary is yet to be seen. However, they have relinquished ownership of an elephant before. In 2000, they sent Nelly, a female elephant held captive by them since 1974, to the Miami Zoo, where she lives today. We donā€™t know whether they voluntarily sent Nelly to the zoo or were ordered to surrender her, but this is one example of an elephant leaving their Goshen farm alive.

Please continue to use this action alert form to send a message to the owners of the Commerford Zoo asking that they release Minnie to an elephant sanctuary. Please feel free to personalize the message and share the alert on social media with the hashtag #FreeMinnie.

Know we are doing everything possible, both publicly and behind the scenes, to determine where and how Minnie is (including whether she is still alive) and compel the relevant authorities to act. Unfortunately, and as many people rightfully find shocking, it is easy for the Commerford Zoo to keep her hidden away because of weak, insufficient, and poorly enforced animal welfare laws.

In recent days, we obtained another USDA report from the most recent inspection of Minnie on April 7th, so we know she was alive on that date; unsurprisingly, the report reveals little else. We also learned the Commerford Zoo will exhibit animals at the Cattaraugus County Fair in Little Valley, NY from August 1st-8th. While we do not think Minnie will be there since New York banned the use of elephants in traveling acts, we will still monitor the situation to see if they bring her anyway.

If you havenā€™t already done so, please sign and share this petition calling on the Commerford Zoo to free Minnie. Here is a list of more ways that you can help Minnie.

Thank you once again for joining us in the fight to #FreeMinnie, who urgently needs and deserves sanctuary.

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