• U.S.

Nation: Sparing Sabu

1 minute read

Sabu, the Tucson zoo’s young, 4,500-Ib. bull elephant, staged a prison riot last August. He charged Zoo Foreman Carl Weese, cracking cartilage, gashing him in the arm with his tusks. Weese was saved by a co-worker who rushed into Sabu’s pen and began pounding the elephant on the trunk, driving him back.

When he recovered two months later, Weese was forgiving. “We’d been in his cage all week, pounding and welding new bars,” the keeper explained. “Sabu was just naturally upset.” The Tucson Zoological Commission was not so understanding. Three weeks ago, the commission voted to have Sabu executed. Weese was outraged. So were thousands of other Tucson residents. Nearly 7,000 wrote letters pleading for clemency. Last week the city council voted unanimously to abolish the commission, thereby commuting Sabu’s sentence to life.

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