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December 10, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Portland's baby elephant belongs to private company

Support for Have Trunk will Travel
In the summer of 2010 I had the privilege of a private visit with Gary Johnson and a few of his elephants at Have Trunk will Travel in Perris, Calif. I was incredibly impressed with how clean and roomy the elephants’ accommodations were. Beyond that, I was amazed that Johnson had created a beautiful, green oasis for the elephants in the middle of the desert.

Johnson took time out of his day to share information about care of elephants, including feeding, foot care, exercise and training. Johnson also allowed me to see the elephants’ travel accommodations. Again, they were spacious and meticulously clean.

As we visited I observed Johnson's staff caring for the elephants. Their affection for the elephants was obvious. It was also obvious as Johnson spoke about elephants. He and his wife have a passion for sharing their knowledge and promoting the preservation of elephants around the world.

They do not appear in any way the type of operation that would snatch a baby away from its mother at the earliest opportunity [“Portland’s baby elephant belongs to traveling show,” page one, Dec. 4]. They do not deserve to be condemned before all the facts have been heard.

—Terri McClelland, Kirkland

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