Legal Charges Filed to Free Queenie the Elephant

Queenie, the elephant that was left behind tied to a tree after two other elephants were rescued from their abusive owner last August, will hopefully get her freedom soon.


In Defense of Animals (IDA), the organization that has worked for two years trying to rescue the three elephants announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed formal charges against their handler, Wilbur Davenport, in order to rescue Queenie.


Davenport, who operates a company called Maximus “Tons of Fun” was charged with multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act related to the care of the three elephants named Tina, Jewel and Queenie.


The charges state that, “the gravity of the violations alleged…is great” and that Davenport has “not shown good faith” in his repeated unwillingness to comply with the Animal Welfare Act and its regulations.


In August, the USDA along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seized Tina and Jewel and sent them to the San Diego Zoo’s new Conrad Prebys Elephant Care Center, where they are receiving veterinary care.  At the time they had to leave Queenie behind, where she was chained to a tree on Davenport’s property.


The San Diego Zoo has reported that Tina and Jewel have each gained more than 300 pounds since arriving at the special care center.


Many of the charges listed in the formal complaint were brought to the attention of the USDA by IDA, which monitored the treatment of the three elephants for more than two years.


“Charges against Davenport for his egregious abuse of elephants and violations of federal law are long overdue,” said Suzanne Roy, IDA’s program director. “The USDA must now use the full force of the law to get Queenie out of Davenport’s hands to the safety of a sanctuary and ensure that Davenport will not ever abuse another animal.”


The 10-page document accuses Davenport of:


  • Defying federal officials and not allowing them access to the animals.
  • Not providing adequate veterinary care.
  • Failing to handle the elephants in a safe and humane manner.
  • Failing to protect the elephants from extreme temperatures and provide food with sufficient nutritional value.


If Davenport is found guilty he could face penalties of up to $2,500 a day for each violation and be sentenced to up to three years in prison.


And as far as Queenie’s future is concerned, both the PAWS sanctuary in California and The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee are ready to accept her into their facilities and give her the quality care she deserves for the rest of her life.


Hopefully the next update you read about this sad situation will show Queenie a new safe haven home.


To read more about the elephants check out: Tina and Jewel Are Safe, But Queenie Still Needs Help by Alicia Graef

In Defense of Animals


sandy Gardner
sandy Gardnerabout a year ago

I'VE been signing petitions to release this elephant for ages. I guess the USDA got so much more cash from the idiot owner they decided against what the concerned populace wanted. We can't afford bribe money, we're only plain old citizens in a "democracy" that continues to ignore us.

Annette Overstreet
Annette Overstreetabout a year ago

I hold the USDA responsible for Queenie's death. For many years I advocated with IDA for her release to a sanctuary, but the USDA in their infinite wisdom thought they knew what was best, so they used her as a pawn in assuaging their guilt for not releasing both her and Lucky. You would think they'd have learned their lesson, yet they continue to turn a blind eye to too many elephants in this country who live in abusive conditions. Nosey is one of the most pitiful, so riddled with arthritis that she limps in pain but is still forced to give rides. Asha is another "loner" forced to give rides in sweltering heat. The poor elephants in the northernmost states suffer endlessly due to the cold. The USDA needs to do its job and stop slapping the owners on the wrists and giving them negligible fines. Put some teeth into the laws and save these wonderfully intelligent creatures.

Karen B.
Karen B4 years ago

Hopefully, Lucy, will be sent to a better place.!! Signed earlier petition.!!!!

Angela L.
Angela L4 years ago

When will human learn that animals are as affectionate as humans. Only selfish humans can do such damage to all other species and our planet. These people are nothing but barbaricism - selfish, and greedy. It's never too late to change their heart to be kind and know how much better it is to help than to kill. It's so sad that are human and lack of wisdom. An animal is far better than these low rate so-called themselves humans.

Pamela W.
Pamela W4 years ago

Sad to bring this update to this thread ......Queenie was not transferred to a sanctuary, but to a zoo, where she died 10th March 2013. RIP, Queenie, in the knowledge we're fighting to get your companion Lucky released from the zoo too and into a sanctuary.


Judy W.
Judy W6 years ago

I could go on and on about the monsters out there whose biggest thrill is to abuse and kill helpless animals. I don't care if they send in a SWAT team...they need to get all of the animals that are suffering out of there into a safe, responsible sancuary. Everytime I read any of these animals I cry for the rest of the day...and I'm so angry. I'm passionate about animals (I can never watch the videos about the abuse, I can't stand it. I wish I could do more. My husband is out of work and I'm handicapped. I'm contacting IDA, who apparently took the other animals, but left Queenie. I'm also contacting the USDA. These people aren't doing their jobs. Every day that they procrastinate, another animal is suffering or being killed. I hope that I can do something.

Judy W.
Judy W6 years ago

Why isn't Queenie the elephant receiving more help. That poor elephant has suffered way too much for so long and lives her life chained to a tree. Where are the authorities? This is animal abuse and her "owner" should go to jail..the slime-ball.

Judy W.
Judy W6 years ago

What in God's name is happening with this poor animal? She's been suffering physically, mentally and emotionally for a very long time. Her two friends, Tina and Jewel, were removed from this creep's home...and Queenie is left behind? This jerk is breaking the law...and nothing is being done? Where in the He** is law enforcement...and the USDA? This is absolutely inexcusable.

Tanya B.
Tanya B6 years ago

Ok we need an update on Queenie, is she free??? please let us know. Thank you...

Tanya B.
Tanya B7 years ago

Ok its been a while, what is going on with Queenie? is she safe?? please someone reply...