- My name is Dahlia. I am a 10th grader at Crossroads.......For goodness sake, sir!  This is absolute madness! Do you see him shaking his head out of stress?! Elephants should not be stressed! He has been tortured most of his life for people to come see him, learn nothing, and leave after 10 minutes. I hope you can understand my as well as other's frustration. Please. We are bigger than this. I hope you take this note and act upon this situation.  Sincerely, Dahli

- Free Billy. He has suffered too long just for the LA Zoo to make a profit.  There is clear proof he could be living in a better environment and we need him to go to a sanctuary. The LA Zoo is not educational and is just a scam for the owners to profit off little kids and people who don't realize what's going on.  If you can't see the issue with keeping Billy at the zoo, then you're terrible at your job.  Not everything is about politics. It's about doing what's right.  10th grade Student

- Elephants are living animals with feelings. They are not our toys. Please do your best to get Billy out of there as soon as possible. Just imagine what all the elephants in zoos go through.  Thank you.  Sincerely, Nathan

- It is incredibly cruel and unethical to keep elephants in captivity. While Billy is being kept at the LA Zoo for "educational" purposes, the exhibit is incredibly uneducating and not worth the pain inflicted on this creature. Please somehow if you could get Billy into a sanctuary, we could make a small step at helping our environment and our animals. Sincerely, August

- My name is Claire. I am in the 10th grade and attend Crossroads School. I write to you today in hopes to help Billy the elephant. We just learned so much about this. It makes me so sad to think these animals are in captivity. My 6 year old sister cried at the LA Zoo. She cried for the elephants. We really need your help. Claire Sures

- I am a student at Crossroads School in Santa Monica. I went to the LA Zoo a year ago and saw Billy the Elephant in captivity. Rather than learning anything, which I assume is the intended purpose, I was horrified by his living conditions. He was rocking back and forth and was clearly in agony in a hard surfaced very small exhibit.  You have the ability to make a difference in this animal's life. Under no circumstances should profit be valued over simple morality. An elephant's entire life of suffering is more important than 5 minutes of entertainment for those that visit the exhibit.  I hope you take this letter seriously. Getting Billy into a sanctuary won't change zoos forever, but it will make an unimaginable difference for one elephant's life. Any act of positive change is necessary. Best, Alex Suprenant

- This is just straight cruelty. The argument that elephants in zoos are educational is completely bogus, and I think you know that already. Put Billy in a sanctuary because it's the humane thing to do. And remember, and this goes to every council member...there is a whole group of thousands of students that will vote very soon. So if you plan on staying a council member, I suggest abolishing elephant exhibits and putting Billy in a sanctuary. Thanks so much, Sean Stark.

- I may not be old, but age doesn't teach wrong vs. right. I beg you to stand up and make a change. Put Billy in a sanctuary. We cannot pretend our city is forward thinking or empowered when we are subjecting animals to psychological and physical torture. Release Billy. Let him live out the rest of his life in a sanctuary. Phoebe 15.

- Look at it through Billy's eyes: Billy was a free, happy elephant who enjoyed living without fences and chains, learning his lessons from his mother. Until people captured him, broke is spirit through torture, set him up for a miserable life in the LA Zoo. So stressed and depressed. Billy repeatedly and impulsively bobs his head. While people gawk at him from the perimeter of the fence, Billy bobs. As I write this plea to you, Billy bobs as you read this, he bobs.Please help us move Billy to the sanctuary before it is too late. Sincerely, Julia

- Billy the elephant needs help. His feet are cracking, he is in a depressed state, and he cannot walk miles like elephants are supposed to. He needs to be saved. He has to be sent to a sanctuary and it has to be now. Please, Councilman Wesson, don't let Billy end up like Gita and Tara, dead in captivity. Please let him live the life that elephants are supposed to live. There is no future for Billy at the LA Zoo. There is no life for Billy at the LA Zoo. But if you can send him to a sanctuary and you will save his life. Please save Billy and send him to the sanctuary. Sincerely, Lena J. Moore

- There is nothing educational about watching an elephant bob his head for 15 minutes. I went to the LA Zoo a couple of years ago and learned absolutely nothing about elephants. Instead I watched in shock that an animal could be put in conditions lie Billy is in. It is obvious that he is in a very unhealthy state and should be put immediately into a sanctuary. I ask you, what is more important: having a child watch a mentally unstable elephant bob his head for "educational purposes", or the elephant's safety and well being. Billy needs to go to a sanctuary immediately.  Sincerely, Izzy

- It is wrong to teach children that what they are doing to Billy is okay.  Sincerely, Joshua H.

- No signs at the LA Zoo taught me that the lifespan of elephants in captivity are about slashed in half as opposed to elephants int he wild. This is such an unethical way to treat animals. We must help them. Transfer them to a sanctuary and away from this fucking DAILY  abusiveness. I have seen first hand an elephant orphanage in Kenya and the way elephants in captivity act is unnatural. They should be able to walk where they want, choose what they eat. These are real animals with real emotions, such as love. Please Councilman, save these animals before it is too late. I will not rest until they are saved. Sincerely, Katrina Sorochinsky

- No one needs to spend 5 minutes of their life looking at an animal who has been tortured for 30 years. Katy D.

- About Billy teaching kids about elephants, I agree. Young kids will look at Billy and learn all about animal abuse, ineffectual city government, and be angry. Councilman Wesson, I'm 15 years old and am the little guy. You speak for the district and the state, that's your job. So please, I beseech you, send Billy to PAWS Sanctuary and I promise that this is what I'll learn: It is possible to make a difference.  Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Tyler Dean

- Captivity is not Conservation. Just like years ago, Billy's feet will get infected. And he will die. Please let him learn how to love again. Give him a chance to be happy. 30 years of excruciating  pain is not ok. Step up. Do something. The people are upset and we will stand up until change is made. Thank you, Ava, age 15

- Billy is now at the end of his life. He will soon die from infections spreading from his damaged feet, just as other elephants at the LA Zoo have died. He truly ought to be given a retirement before his eventual death. The PAWS Sanctuary in Northern California has already agreed to pay for the transfer and harboring of Billy.  The only roadblock is the torturers at the LA Zoo. Please use your position and influence to save Billy the elephant!, Best, Addison Davis, 15

- Children don't gain enough from purely viewing elephants in captivity. They don't gain a real sense of what the animals are like outside of their abusive captivity because the elephants are neurologically and physically affected. Elephants are capable of real, human-like emotion and it takes a real level of heartlessness to be able to watch this treatment continue. Please consider saving the lives of Billy and other captive elephants. Sincerely, Sierra Shostac, 15.

- If it could be possible could you set this guy free. Real talk. He has been in this confinement for 30 years. 30 years! Please, please, please put yourself in this elephant's painful shoes. Getting stripped away from your mother who was killed. Being tortured and broken for a slow torturous life...I hope you can make the right choice to free Billy the elephant. With lots of hope, Jared Belushi

- Despite having visited the LA Zoo on several occasions, I have learned more about elephants watching a presentation than I have by watching poor Billy rock back and forth for nearly 30 years of his life. Under the current conditions, the zoo is not doing anyone a favor by keeping a damaged, dying elephant to demonstrate what elephants are like. For Billy's sake, and for the education of our young ones, send him to a sanctuary to recover his health and encourage the zoo to create better conditions for the current elephants to give a more accurate reflection and better education of what they are really like. Sincerely, Connie

- Billy has been in the zoo bobbing his head for two times as long as I've been alive. It's not right. If I were in your position to choose the fate of this animal, I would free him in a heartbeat. Maddie

- We need to give Billy a new home at the PAWS Sanctuary in upstate California where he can live in a conservative state. So many elephants die each year due to zoo related injuries. We need to help elephants one elephant at a time starting with Billy.

- Little kids don't learn anything from Billy because he doesn't act like a normal elephant due to his extreme trauma. I'm just a 10th grader in Santa Monica trying to make a difference. Alejandro Okan, the elephant passionate child

- I don't see why Billy's release is in question. Billy has spent decades suffering in the zoo and it is utterly inhumane. Elephants are extremely social and perceptive and it is complete torture to keep them in captivity. Imagine being in a confined space alone for 30 + years. People start to go insane after 48 hours in solitary confinement. Billy needs to go to the sanctuary after a lifetime in captivity. Charlotte Sloane

- I can speak for most kids when I say that zoos no longer feel magical or interest me any longer. It isn't worth it to hold an elephant in captivity for a lifetime just so that a kid can look at it for 3 minutes. It's obvious and clear how unjust this is. Kids that go to zoos aren't even learning about true elephant behavior because they are seeing abnormal traits of elephants that have been tortured and broken. Please use your power to do something about this awful treatment. This elephant deserves to be sent to the PAWS Sanctuary before it's too late. A Crossroads Student

- The claim that elephants are needed in the zoo to educate people is foolish...The only thing they are being taught is that it is ok to subject incredibly intelligent animals to a lifetime of suffering for a few minutes of observation. Elephants require more space than the zoo can ever provide. It is unacceptable to confine them there to die of unnatural diseases. Please take action to free Billy and the other elephants. Marco Carrillo (15 years old)

- Please please help Billy. Imagine being in a situation like his. It is so unfair and cruel. To be honest, I've visited zoos many times a s a child and I do not remember one thing that I learned about the elephants. They deserve to be free.  Please move him to a sanctuary before he dies in the zoo. My heart is broken hearing about Billy considering he is at most risk. Billy deserves to be saved! Please help him. He is like a human. He has a strong memory and knows this is not right. I really hope something changes. Thank you, Elizabeth Brooks

- It is not worth 1 minute of pleasure seeing these elephants to cost an elephant years of torture. I ask you to reconsider and attempt to remove Billy from the LAZoo to a sanctuary. ...Please take this call seriously, as this is not a sentiment that only I have. This sentiment is echoes by many. My generation is passionate and energetic. We are energized by this injustice, and will continue to fight for what we conceive is ethical. Sincerely, Alex Biederman

- Please help to move Billy from captivity at the LA Zoo to the Sanctuary in Northern California. I am a career educator and can see absolutely no justification for the confinement and torture of animals. To use the excuse that children "need to see" is outdated. Children need to see behavior in the adults who care for them that reflects compassion, care, and an understanding of respect for other species and the welfare of all. Step up, Mr. Wesson. Be the change. Sincerely, Davida Hurwin, Chair Theater Dept. Crossroads School

- I would learn more from a youtube video about elephants in their natural habitat than all day at the zoo where they are suffering.  Ella

- Elephants and Giraffes are supposed to travel miles around their habitat but if you've ever been to the LA Zoo the enclosures are not big enough. The LA Zoo needs to be banned from  torturing these beautiful and caring creatures. The zoos say that keeping them is for educational purposes but every time I have gone to the zoo I have learned nothing. But I have seen the elephant in pain and confined. I urge you to please help the elephants across the country get freed instead of being confined for life just like the worst of criminals. Please help these elephants get into a sanctuary. Thank you, Robert Acevedo-Wozniak

- Billy the elephant is not doing well. Please recognize that! Please send him to a sanctuary so he can live the rest of his life happy. It would make you look better because keeping him in there is just mean and inhumane. Iris Apatow

- Imagine you were taken away from your mother, beaten, tortured, and then put in a cage for people to watch you the rest of your life. This is terrible!  There would be an outrage if this were to happen to a human being. Please take the time to explain to me how this is ok. Animals being tortured is not ok. I could learn more about these elephants from a minute youtube video than I could at any zoo. Don't talk about doing better. DO IT. STEP UP AND GET IT DONE.  Sincerely, Ava

- It is simply barbaric that Billy the elephant has been living at the LA Zoo for 30 years. Although he is technically alive, his existence means very little as he engages constantly in neurotic behavior. Elephants are not meant to live in a small enclosure when they normally walk up to 20 miles a day. Lest you worry about taxpayer money, rest assured that PAWS Sanctuary in Northern California already has funds earmarked for his transport and life-long care in place. We just need city officials like you to put pressure on the leadership at the LA Zoo to release Billy. Although he is only one elephant, to save his life would mean everything in the world to him and his supporters. I sincerely hope that the LA Zoo will not be so stubborn as to refuse to grant this one animal a chance to live out his remaining years at a sanctuary. Sincerely yours, Santa Monica resident and Crossroads School Library Director Kayti Mathewson 

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  • Nikie Cummings
    commented 2019-08-14 13:52:27 -0700
    Please please we all ask of you at the LA Zoo for once DONTHE RIGHT THING….give Billy the chance to live out his remaining life in a sanctuary living like an Elephant should with choices and freedom and not as something for us humans to “Gawk” at and for your selfish reasons of having an elephant at your zoo! It’s disgusting and in-humane! I have a hard time liking my own kind because they care only about themselves first (most not all) but you can make the best decision for Billy by allowing him to live in FREEDOM! Not in full CAPTIVITY!!! He deserves the best life possible and since he can’t go back to the wild he CAN LIVE IN THE NEXT BEST PLACE THE SANCTUARY!!! Please HUMANS AT THE LA ZOO DO WHATS BEST FOR BULLY NOT YOURSELF OR FOR PROFIT!!
    Free BILLY!!!
    Nikie From Chandler Arizona!!
  • Laura van Leeuwen
    commented 2019-08-12 14:12:22 -0700
    Free Billy this is so cruel to see him in constant pain and distress! Let him go live his life and have the right care and compassion.