Dr. Mel Richardson, Friend and Colleague, Has Passed Away
2014-01-03

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee was saddened to learn of the passing of our friend and colleague, Dr. Mel Richardson.
 
Dr. Richardson was a world renowned veterinarian and captive wild animal health consultant. For over 40 years, he cared for animals in a variety of captive settings, working to improve their health care and living conditions. He consulted with In Defense of Animals (IDA), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), ZooCheck Canada and the Performing Animal Welfare Society on a variety of projects, including many related to captive elephants. He assisted in the relocation of Maggie, the lone elephant at the Anchorage Zoo in Alaska, to the PAWS Sanctuary in California in 2007. He traveled to Edmonton, Alberta in 2009 to perform a health assessment on the Valley Zoo’s only elephant, Lucy. In April, 2011 he spoke at the Toronto Elephant Symposium about the health issues experienced by elephants in zoos, particularly in cold climates. And in May of that same year, The Elephant Sanctuary sent Dr. Richardson to South America to evaluate the health of Ramba, the last circus elephant in Chile.
 
“I am dedicated to improving the welfare of all captive wildlife. From elephants, chimpanzees, lions, tigers and bears in circuses, zoos, parks and the entertainment industry, I work to alleviate the suffering caused by captivity. I am their voice.” – Dr. Mel Richardson.
 
Rest in peace Dr. Mel. The animals have lost a true champion.