A host of celebrities including Cher and Bob Barker were unsuccessful in their bid to encourage the Los Angeles City Council to stop the completion of the L.A. Zoo’s $42 million Pachyderm Forest on Tuesday.
Cher, Bob and Lily Tomlin were among the celebs who turned up to a L.A. City Council meeting to urge council members to abort plans to complete an elephant habitat at the zoo, and to see that the zoo’s lone elephant, Billy, is transferred to an animal sanctuary.
“From I understand about GLAZA (the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association) is it’s always been done this way, there have always been elephants in the city zoos throughout history… and that’s what makes it right. It doesn’t make it right,” Cher said.
“We’ve had other things that we’re ashamed of. We’ve had slavery, you know, it wasn’t right.”
Many in the auditorium were wearing “Free Billy” shirts — but even more were clad in green shirts supporting the zoo. And not every celeb was on the side of Barker and Cher — Betty White and Slash even made a PSA pushing for the completion of the pachyderm project.
The L.A. Zoo won the day, and zookeeper Joshua Sisk told Access that celebs needn’t worry about the animals in their care.
“No disrespect to Bob Barker, Halle Berry, Cher or any of these people but if you want to know about acting or game shows, talk to the celebs,” he said. “If you want to talk about animal care, talk to the professionals.”