Quantcast

Why elephants aren't welcome in Vermont - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Why elephants aren't welcome in Vermont

Posted: Updated:
ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. -

Few things can dazzle a child like the discovery of a new animal.

"I've never saw a zebra before," Evie Hulme said.

Petting a donkey or kissing a goat can be pretty exciting for young fairgoers, too.

"I think anything that is unique, that you can't see otherwise, certainly brings folks here," said Tim Shea of the Champlain Valley Exposition.

Fair officials say in a state dominated by dairy they'll always showcase the Holsteins and the jerseys. But it's the allure of the unknown that really draws people in. No surprise, exotic petting zoos rank high among fair favorites. And since Vermont does not have a zoo, many schoolchildren rely on fairs to expose them to non-native species.

Animal rides are major moneymakers at fairs. But when the animal handlers come to Vermont, they can bring the camels, but they have to leave the elephants behind.

"We don't allow elephants in Vermont primarily for safety concerns, primarily public health concerns," said Col. Dave LeCours of the Vt. Fish and Wildlife Department.

Fish and Wildlife says elephants are common carriers of human tuberculosis, a contagious respiratory disease that's airborne. Allowing the ivory tusked animals in is not something state officials are willing to risk.

"We're concerned with people being exposed to that in a mass situation like a fair would be," LeCours said.

But it hasn't always been that way. Twelve years ago, the Shelburne Museum hosted the Big Apple Circus and a parade of elephants graced the grounds. This marked one of the last times the gentle giants came to town. Animal rights advocates protested outside, concerned about the animals' welfare.

Vermont is one of the only states that has outlawed elephants and wildlife officials say the fair community is not pushing too hard to change that. And these kids don't seem to mind. They're more focused on what the fair does have.

"The goats and the sheeps and a zebra," said Liam Lavery, 4.

The max penalty for sneaking an elephant into Vermont is a $3,000 fine.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Lamoille County aims to fight opiate crisis

    Lamoille County aims to fight opiate crisis

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 6:36 AM EDT2017-06-27 10:36:35 GMT

    New law gives doctors guidelines in the effort to stop the opioid epidemic.  Channel 3's Alex Hirsch reports.

    New law gives doctors guidelines in the effort to stop the opioid epidemic.  Channel 3's Alex Hirsch reports.

  • Vermont city ranks #2 safest city in the country

    Vermont city ranks #2 safest city in the country

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 6:16 AM EDT2017-06-27 10:16:08 GMT
    New data from SafeWise ranks the safest cities and states to raise a child. According to their data Connecticut has exceptionally low rates of violent crime. Vermont has the fewest registered sex offenders per capita of any state. New Jersey has the second-highest high school graduation rate. Massachusetts schools are rated the best for overall quality. According to SafeWise Essex ranked #2, Milton also ranked in the top 50 coming in at #23. As for the number 1 safest city ...
    New data from SafeWise ranks the safest cities and states to raise a child. According to their data Connecticut has exceptionally low rates of violent crime. Vermont has the fewest registered sex offenders per capita of any state. New Jersey has the second-highest high school graduation rate. Massachusetts schools are rated the best for overall quality. According to SafeWise Essex ranked #2, Milton also ranked in the top 50 coming in at #23. As for the number 1 safest city ...
  • Breaking down Vermont Yankee

    Breaking down Vermont Yankee

    Monday, June 26 2017 9:19 PM EDT2017-06-27 01:19:23 GMT

    What if the effort to break down the idle Vermont Yankee nuclear plant could take 13 years instead of 60? That's the proposal from NorthStar Group Services.

    What if the effort to break down the idle Vermont Yankee nuclear plant could take 13 years instead of 60? That's the proposal from NorthStar Group Services.

  • Church St. stabbing suspect found not competent to stand trial

    Church St. stabbing suspect found not competent to stand trial

    Monday, June 26 2017 5:56 PM EDT2017-06-26 21:56:48 GMT

    A homeless man charged in a fatal stabbing on Burlington's Church Street in March is not competent to stand trial, according to a judge.

    A homeless man charged in a fatal stabbing on Burlington's Church Street in March is not competent to stand trial, according to a judge.

  • Former Vt. senator's sex assault trial could be delayed

    Former Vt. senator's sex assault trial could be delayed

    Monday, June 26 2017 6:38 PM EDT2017-06-26 22:38:12 GMT

    The final trial of a former state senator originally charged with sexually assaulting three women may be delayed.

    The final trial of a former state senator originally charged with sexually assaulting three women may be delayed.

  • St. Johnsbury man charged with weekend crime spree

    St. Johnsbury man charged with weekend crime spree

    Monday, June 26 2017 7:43 PM EDT2017-06-26 23:43:18 GMT

    Police say Derek Bristol broke into a St. Johnsbury convenience store with a stolen car, stole some items, and then led police on a high-speed chase.

    Police say Derek Bristol broke into a St. Johnsbury convenience store with a stolen car, stole some items, and then led police on a high-speed chase.

  • Vt. man accused of assaulting pregnant woman held without bail

    Vt. man accused of assaulting pregnant woman held without bail

    Monday, June 26 2017 7:42 PM EDT2017-06-26 23:42:41 GMT

    A man accused of shoving a pregnant woman down the stairs and stabbing her hand with a knife was in court Monday.

    A man accused of shoving a pregnant woman down the stairs and stabbing her hand with a knife was in court Monday.

  • NH shooting ranges shut down following police investigation

    NH shooting ranges shut down following police investigation

    Monday, June 26 2017 6:59 PM EDT2017-06-26 22:59:50 GMT

    There's an update to a story we told you about earlier this year about a mom whose car was hit by a stray bullet from a shooting range.

    There's an update to a story we told you about earlier this year about a mom whose car was hit by a stray bullet from a shooting range.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.