Memorial Service Scheduled For Vishnu The Elephant

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From Thegothamtimes.com

[edit] Memorial Service Scheduled For Vishnu The Elephant

A Hindu priest will commemorate Vishnu the Elephant's life Sunday at the Gotham Zoo's central pond. The death of the beloved, 42-year-old Asian elephant caused an uproar over unhealthy conditions at the beleaguered city zoo. Vishnu was the third elephant to die prematurely at Gotham Zoo in seven years. Children's favorite Sam the Elephant died in uncertain circumstances earlier this year, while Smokey the Elephant collapsed after television cameras recorded her 43rd bithday [sic] seven years ago this December. Animal rights activists blasted zoo officials for creating what they call an "Elephants' Graveyard" in the middle of Gotham.

But Gilaed Braverman of the Elephant Defense League said that the group would refrain from political protest on Sunday in honor of Vishnu. "We are deeply honored that a priest from the Hindu Temple in Gotham will be commemorating Vishnu's life. This is a time to celebrate this brave individual, who survived his capture in the Indian wilderness and his slave passage to Gotham," Braverman said. "Vishnu was not meant to be held captive for our amusement. He was a noble soul with an inspiring story and a loving family."

Activists called on the Zoo to free its last remaining pachyderms, Tiny and Zeb. The Zoo refused comment.

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