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I was appalled at Mayor Ed Murray’s criticism of animal advocates who spoke up on behalf of the Woodland Park Zoo elephants at a recent City Council meeting [“City Council blocks Sawant’s bid to send elephants to sanctuary,” Local News, April 20]. He described the advocates’ desperate pleas as “unconscionable” and “lacked civility”.

People speak up when they feel their concerns are being continually ignored. The mayor and City Council publicly acknowledged that the elephants were suffering in a zoo setting and should be sent to a sanctuary instead. When the zoo announced Bamboo and Chai’s transfer to another zoo anyway, the city dropped the ball by failing to act. Its management agreement with the zoo clearly gives the city the power to set animal disposition policies. To have that power and refuse to use it is not only “unconscionable,” it is disgraceful.

This issue truly became a cautionary tale about failed leadership and the zoo’s ongoing lack of public accountability. Bamboo and Chai suffered as a result.

Jan Savaugn, Edmonds