Towan was born in Woodland Park Zoo in 1968, and he remained there until he died. If you’ve visited the orangutans at the zoo in Seattle, you’ve likely seen him, and you’d probably remember him for his big, soulful, searching eyes, which were often aimed at the humans who trailed by his enclosure. I had the pleasure of seeing Towan spend many days doing two of the things he did best: creating art, and connecting with humans in a way that changed them forever.
Asian elephant Chai, 37, dies at Oklahoma City Zoo following extended battle to retire her to a sanctuary
Chai’s life was tragic and characterized by deprivation. As those who knew her in Seattle and beyond mourn her loss, we also hope that her story inspires others to continue the fight to phase out elephant programs in zoos, so that not one more elephant suffers or dies simply to entertain humans.