This is Asha’s story…
Asha is a 37-year-old African female elephant who was born in Zimbabwe somewhere between 1982-83. Asha lost her entire family in a horrific slaughter orchestrated by the government of Zimbabwe in 1984. She was sent to the USA by the Shultze Company to later be exploited by the Natural Bridge Zoo in Virginia at only two years old. Asha was a frightened baby destined for a life of human torture. And torure it has been. The Natural Bridge Zoo has over 100 violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), has had it’s permit suspended twice. Yet both state and federal agencies continue to renew the zoo’s exhibitor permit year after year.
Asha spends most of her life in an uheated barn on a concrete floor and giving backbreaking rides to thousands and thousands of visitors every year. It’s time she be sent to a sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). GFAS is the gold standard for sanctuaries. It’s way past time for Asha to live her life free to be the elephant she never had the chance to be.
FACE is committed to working to expose the decades of public complaints to the agencies tasked with protecting Asha that have fallen on deaf ears. It is time to bring this issue to the public’s attention. FACE recently was successful in raising funds to erect a highly visible billboard near Richmond, Virginia. Over 300,000 people per week read our message about the Natural Bridge Zoo’s more than 100 violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Our goal is to have Virginia authorities seize Asha and place her into a GFAS sanctuary.
FACE is colaborating with other animail welfare organizations in Virginia which includes the Humane Society of the United States and In Defense of Animals, to both file complaints and work towards legislative change to better protect elephants.
The Virginia Attorney General’s Office recently seized over 100 animals from Wilson’s Road Side Zoo.
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FACE applauds the Virginia Attorney General’s Office and fully supports their actions.
Read one of MANY USDA inspection reports here:
With respect to providing adequate care and according to the USDA, Natural Bridge Zoo:
- Failed to adequately clean and sanitize animal enclosures or to control infestations of insect and mammalian pests.
- Failed to provide adequate space for certain animals to move and make normal postural adjustments, leading to high rates of illness, injury, and death.
- Failed to ensure that animals are sheltered in a manner that protects them from the elements.
- Failed to separate animals who are incompatible with each other, putting these animals at risk of severe physical injuries.
- Failed to prepare animal feed in a sanitary manner and fails to provide infant animals with necessary sustenance.
- Failed to provide certain animals with adequate access to potable water, causing extreme thirst.