This is a sad day for fans of the San Francisco Zoo. We have been there a number of times, and the older son loves the place, the animals and the elephants in particular. I am not a lover of zoos out of principle. However, it is one of the most educational locations to bring kids and a lot cheeper than going to Africa or Asia to see the real deal in the wild.
Anyway, I thought, given the whole Schiavo situation, that people would like to know that it is possible to euthanize in a humane fashion and it is appropriate to stop the suffering. Tinkerbell was the first elephant my son heard trumpet. Scared the pants off him, but he became enamored with her.
While the notion that Tinkerbell has any equivalence to Terri Schiavo is debatable, and many will argue that it is not even close, but Tinkerbell had great personality. And, with little or no protest, and certainly no governmental intervention, Tinkerbell was celebrated and put to death.
In the final moments, she had a chain to play with and sugar cane to eat.
And then Tinkerbelle was put to sleep -- a sad and quiet end to the life of an Asian elephant who had charmed San Francisco Zoo visitors for more than three decades before turning into one of the most political animals in the country.
The 39-year-old pachyderm was euthanized early Thursday afternoon after collapsing at the Sierra foothills sanctuary she moved to in November. "We've all known that her condition was what I guess you'd call terminal, " said Pat Derby, founder of the Performing Animal Welfare Society, which runs the Ark 2000 refuge in San Andreas.
"I had hoped that she'd have a year or two." Bob Jenkins, director of animal care and conservation at the San Francisco Zoo, said Tinkerbelle was suffering from degenerative joint disease and chronic problems with her feet.