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MP Demands Charges Against Deadbeat Elephant Mother

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 her 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 for 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 the 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 Question Period.

Posted on December 11th, 2004

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