Endangered Species Act Lawsuit

At a February 12, 2019 hearing on the third preliminary injunction to remove Asian elephant Ruth, the injunction was consolidated with the trial on the merits  The expedited trial was held from March 5-7 at the U. S. District Courthouse in Boston, MA, presided over by Judge William G. Young. On March 28, Judge Young also visited the Buttonwood Park Zoo as part of the proceedings. In particular, he viewed the Asian elephant barn and the outdoor yards.


Those proceedings may be found on the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) website. Unfortunately they are too large for posting on this page.


Since then, Friend Rowley filed a Motion to Expedite on June 19, 2019 and more recently a Motion for Forfeiture of Ruth, based on her observations over the Summer of 2019. Those documents are posted below.

Corrected Motion for Forfeiture
This is the filing that cites the law or rule allowing the Court to seize Asian elephant Ruth.
Dkt 88.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 40.8 KB
Exhibit 1, Affidavit of Joyce Rowley
This exhibit explains what Rowley saw that indicated Ruth's health and well-being were jeopardized. It contains links to videos of some of the events, including yet another attack on Ruth by Emily during which Emily rammed Ruth from in back. Ruth was eating hay in the outer yard at the time.
Dkt 87.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 909.9 KB
Memorandum in Favor of Confiscation
This filing synopsizes why Ruth should be confiscated from the City of New Bedford under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 64.
Dkt 86.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 973.7 KB

Select videos filed with the Motion for Forfeiture

Most of the videos below are self-explanatory.


But on July 20, 2019, Ruth was restricted to the barn for 4 1/2 hours during a heatwave as temperatures in the shade hit 95 degrees. She was finally allowed out at 4 p.m. while they cleaned the barn. She immediately went to immerse herself in the hose.  Because her ears are so damaged from injuries suffered at the zoo,  she is susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.


These and many more videos are available on the YouTube channel for Friends of Ruth & Emily.