PORTLAND -- There was a big turnout at the Oregon Zoo for Packy the elephant’s 51st birthday, but not everybody was celebrating.
Packy celebrated the milestone with a cake made of carrots, hay and cream cheese frosting, and plenty of fans cheered him on.
But outside the zoo protesters used the event to call on the zoo to make changes.
“We just want them to understand there is no ‘happy’ in this ‘happy birthday for Packy,” said Eric Phelps of the group In Defense of Animals. “They use these events once a year to make money, but the other 364 days a year he’s basically in a concrete cell.”
The zoo is working on a big expansion of its elephant exhibit. The “Elephant Lands" project will quadruple the elephants’ space. Its completion is scheduled for 2015.