An elephant rental company is striking back against what it calls "inaccurate and inflammatory news reports" regarding the baby elephant born at the Oregon Zoo.
California-based Have Trunk Will Travel sent a letter to the editor of The Seattle Times. The company also forwarded a copy of the letter to FOX 12.
Have Trunk Will Travel became the center of a nationwide controversy after a Seattle Times report said the business was the legal owner of Rose Tu's baby elephant, born Nov. 30.
After the article was published, debate sparked online and around the country about whether the yet-unnamed 300-pound calf would be taken away from the Oregon Zoo. On Tuesday, both the zoo's director and Have Trunk Will Travel said the baby was not going anywhere.
The company released a statement Tuesday night saying, in part, "Have Trunk Will Travel has no intention and has never had any intention of coming to take Rose-Tu's calf."
The company followed that up with a letter to the editor of the Seattle newspaper Thursday. The letter not only addressed the situation regarding Rose Tu's elephant baby, but also video distributed online by activists claiming the company improperly treats its animals.
The letter provided by Have Trunk Will Travel to FOX 12 is printed below:
Have Trunk Will Travel would like to correct the inaccurate and inflammatory news reports that led people to believe that we were going to take Rose-Tu's calf from her. This unnecessary controversy has taken away from the joy and celebration of the birth of the beautiful, healthy elephant calf born to Rose-Tu and Tusko. She is being nursed and nurtured by her mother. That is a great accomplishment. This birth epitomizes what we work toward and what we care about.
Have Trunk Will Travel is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. We partner with zoos and others and work together to enhance the propagation and survival of this endangered species. The breeding loan agreement we have with the Oregon Zoo is common among elephant holding facilities. We cooperate and collaborate with many zoos.
We, along with our dedicated staff, care for our elephants every day. We donate our time and money for the elephant causes we believe in. We are proud to work with and for our elephants and earn the revenue it takes to care for them and to support our breeding program and the conservation work we contribute to.
We regret that misinformation has caused our partners and the public distress. The heavily edited video purporting abuse of our elephants taken by an animal rights extremist group is being run along with the story. The seven year old video is a blatant attempt to malign our character and reputation. The video was at the heart of a lawsuit brought against us by an animal rights extremist group. That case was dismissed with prejudice. No legitimate animal welfare agency or elephant management group has given the video any credence.
Everyone at Have Trunk Will Travel is grateful for the outpouring of support from our friends, fans, the elephant and zoo communities and especially the Oregon Zoo. We look forward to meeting the new baby.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Thursday, December 5 2013 8:32 PM EST2013-12-06 01:32:46 GMT
An Amber Alert has been activated in Oregon for a 14-year-old girl from Kennewick, WA. The Amber Alert was first activated in Washington Thursday afternoon. Police said Elizabeth Romero was last seenMore >
An Amber Alert has been activated in Oregon for 14-year-old girl Elizabeth Romero of Kennewick, WA.More >
Thursday, December 5 2013 4:55 PM EST2013-12-05 21:55:17 GMT
Donations poured in Thursday for a woman who live-tweeted about a fatal crash, unaware at the time the victim who died was her own husband. Police said Craig Johnson, 47, was driving north just beforeMore >
Donations poured in Thursday for a woman who live-tweeted about a fatal crash, unaware at the time the victim who died was her own husband.More >
Thursday, December 5 2013 10:51 PM EST2013-12-06 03:51:59 GMT
A Portland man was sentenced to prison Thursday for transporting a teen girl across state lines for prostitution. Anthony Armstrong, 25, pleaded guilty in August to one count of transporting a minor acrossMore >
Anthony Armstrong, 25, pleaded guilty in August to one count of transporting a minor across state lines for prostitution.More >
Thursday, December 5 2013 10:05 PM EST2013-12-06 03:05:35 GMT
Snow is on the way, just not for the Portland metro area. A snowstorm is projected to hit the south Willamette Valley and the Oregon coast Friday. According to Fox 12 Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen,More >
A snowstorm is projected to hit the south Willamette Valley and the Oregon coast, but not the Portland metro area. More >
Thursday, December 5 2013 2:56 PM EST2013-12-05 19:56:09 GMT
Deputies are searching for a 13-year-old runaway who is considered endangered and possibly with a 40-year-old man. Samantha Dodson, 13, of Oregon City, was last seen Tuesday night. Clackamas County deputiesMore >
Authorities say 40-year-old Kelsey McCune is known to make money doing freelance computer work, and he may be carrying large duffel bags and backpacks with camping gear. More >
Friday, December 6 2013 1:28 AM EST2013-12-06 06:28:26 GMT
A second case of disturbing animal abuse has been discovered involving a puppy's mouth tied shut. A man found a puppy in a box with filthy blankets in Kane Park in Gresham at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The puppyMore >
A second case of disturbing animal abuse has been discovered involving a puppy's mouth being tied shut.More >
Thursday, December 5 2013 8:53 PM EST2013-12-06 01:53:30 GMT
Vancouver police want to find a five-month-old baby reportedly taken from a Child Protection Services worker by her parents.It started on Nov. 27 when CPS were supposed to take custody of the child dueMore >
Vancouver police want to find a 5-month-old baby reportedly taken from a Child Protection Services worker by her parents.More >
Friday, December 6 2013 12:39 AM EST2013-12-06 05:39:20 GMT
Brian Clark creates a wreath inside the shop at his farm in southwest Portland.
You could definitely feel the bone-chilling cold across the Portland metro area on Thursday night. Winds were fairly constant in some spots. Brian Clark, who owns a farm near Southwest Miller and BarnesMore >
You could definitely feel the bone-chilling cold across the Portland metro area on Thursday night. Winds were fairly constant in some spots.More >