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HSUS FILES SUIT ON LOTA'S BEHALF

 HSUS FILES SUIT ON LOTA'S BEHALF
 WASHINGTON, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Humane Society of the


United States (HSUS) has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, which would keep Lota and other endangered species from being given or sold by zoos to anyone who would use them for profit, such as circuses or game ranches.
 The suit was sparked by the Milwaukee County Zoo's gift of Lota, the Asian elephant, to Hawthorn Corp., which intends to use Lota for elephant rides and circuses. Hawthorn Corp. is trying to get a second Asian elephant from the zoo. The suit against the U.S. Department of the Interior claims that the department is failing to enforce the Endangered Species Act because it is allowing commercial use of these endangered species.
 "This suit has implications far beyond Lota," said Dr. John W. Grandy, HSUS vice president for wildlife and habitat protection. "The Interior Department has a responsibility to fully protect endangered species from commercial use and associated abuses. This suit is designed to force Interior to keep endangered species out of the chain of commerce.
 "Not only will this lawsuit keep Lota from being relegated to the role of circus performer, it will help the hundreds of endangered animals like Lota who should be offered the strongest protection required by law," said Grandy.
 World-renowned elephant expert Ian Redmond has lent his support to the suit, stating in an affidavit filed in the lawsuit that elephants in circuses are trained in a way that breaks the animal's spirit and then are forced to spend much of their time "chained to the floor in the back of trucks, or shackled in draughty tents in showgrounds, awaiting the next performance."
 "When elephants are shown in circus performances, the acts they are forced to perform give the public the wrong impression of the true nature of the complex biology and endangered status of Asian elephants, and so many impede efforts to conserve these animals by conveying false impressions," Redmond said in his statement.
 -0- 4/21/92
 /CONTACT: Helen L. Mitternight of The Humane Society of the United States, 202-452-1100/ CO: The Humane Society of the United States ST: Wisconsin, District of Columbia IN: SU:


DC-TW -- DC008 -- 0499 04/21/92 10:17 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 21, 1992
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