Charo--you know, of "coochie-coochie" fame--has sent a letter to Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido urging him to stop elephant rides at the city-operated Santa Ana Zoo.
"Ay-yi-yi yeem whiting tu jew tu bane ..."
Okay, that thick Spanish accent ain't working for me either. Let's drop it, shall we?
"I am writing to ask you to ban elephant rides at the Santa Ana Zoo," writes María Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Gutiérrez de los Perales Santa Ana Romanguera y de la Hinojosa Rasten--better known as Charo or the widow of band leader Xavier Cugat--to Mayor Papi. "The Santa Ana Zoo's promotion of elephant rides is reckless, and the liability to the city is very real."
This celebrity intervention was first reported by Samantha Gowen, the Orange County Register's Pet Tales blogger. She'd been tipped by entertainment editor Jeff Miller, who'd been tipped by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Charo supports PETA
As the Weekly previously reported, PETA and Orange County People for Animals have been pressing the zoo to stop the elephant rides, claiming they are cruel and that the mammoth beasts are being mistreated by their zoo-hired handlers.
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The rides have been offered weekends for 27 years even though Orange County's Animal Care division has had a no-touching rule and other elephant-minded regulations for more than 30 years to help prevent humans from contracting a disease.
But Santa Ana's Zoo Manager Kent Yamaguchi previously told the Weekly humans should touch elephants because "physical contact with another creature is the strongest ways to make a connection with that animal."
Just don't touch their coochie-coochie.