Betty White Stands Up for Elephant Exhibit

Monday, December 5th 2005, 10:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Former ``Golden Girls'' actress Betty White joined more than 100 people rallying in front of the Los Angeles Zoo to try to keep the pachyderm exhibit from being closed.

The demonstration Saturday came in response to a study ordered by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to determine whether the exhibit should be shut down. Animal rights activists called for the study, saying the elephants need more acreage.

Several zoos nationwide, including San Francisco's, have closed their elephant exhibits.

But fans say the Los Angeles Zoo's elephants _ Billy, Gita and Ruby _ are treated well. White, one of the zoo's commissioners, said removing the animals would deny children the opportunity to learn about them.

``They see these gorgeous animals and they know we must not let them perish off this Earth,'' White said. ``You don't get that off a documentary.''

As part of the study, an elephant expert examined the zoo's enclosure. City officials said the study should be ready soon.