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