Expert Review Panel
The role of the Expert Review Panel was to provide an objective evaluation of the elephant program of the Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ). The knowledge and expertise of the panel helped guide the Task Force’s findings and options.
The study panel, in general, examined the animals, programs, and facilities of the Woodland Park Zoo to assess the state of the elephants at the zoo, and the state of the elephant breeding program. Based on this assessment, and considering the best evidence in the scientific literature, it advised the task force regarding the quality of the elephant program at WPZ. If there are alternative best practices or deficiencies in the program, it provided options for enhancement or correction, with evaluation and evidence to support the options.
Specifically, the study panel addressed the following areas in relation to providing review and options for change, if any are needed, to the Task Force regarding the elephants at the WPZ:
- What is the health status of the three elephants at the WPZ? Are the medical, preventative health, animal husbandry programs and staff of the WPZ, and the design, construction and upkeep of grounds and facilities, appropriate to maintain the long-term good health of these animals?
- What is the social wellbeing of the three elephants at the WPZ? Are the medical, preventative health, animal husbandry programs and staff of the WPZ, and the design, construction and upkeep of grounds and facilities, appropriate to maintain the long-term behavioral health of these animals and adequately satisfy their basic needs and instincts?
- Evaluate the elephant breeding program of the WPZ. Considering the medical and behavioral factors of these individual elephants (as in #1 and #2 above), and what the scientific literature or knowledgeable experts suggest as the best practices for successful breeding of captive elephants, what options does the WPZ have in the future?
Expert Review Panel Members
Chair: Bryan Slinker, DVM, PhD, Professor and Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Robyn Barbiers, DVM, President, Anti-Cruelty Society, Chicago, IL (14 years as Director of Veterinary Services at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo)
Janine Brown, PhD, Reproductive Physiologist, Department of Reproductive Sciences, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Center for Species Survival, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC
Michele Ann Miller, DVM, PhD, MPH, Conservation Veterinarian, Rare Species Conservatory Foundation, Loxahatchee, FL
Ed Pajor, PhD, Professor of Animal Welfare and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Production Animal Health, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
Jeff Wyatt, DVM, MPH Director of Animal Health and Conservation, Seneca Park Zoo; Professor and Chair, Department of Comparative Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY