Contact: Courtney Scott 503-544-7384/


Courtney Scott, president of FOZE  is an indie filmmaker and photographer who became aware of the plight of zoo elephants back in 2007, during production of her film From Suffering to Satori. After a visit to the Oregon Zoo and seeing Packy pacing in his cage, she vowed to make a difference for Packy and all the elephants at the zoo. She started meeting with a small group of fellow advocates to strategize how to free the elephants to sanctuary. That small group became Free the Oregon Zoo Elephants (FOZE), a 501 (c) 3 non profit.  Now FOZE is active on many fronts, testifying at Metro Council, meeting with the zoo directors, organizing rallies and demos, doing outreach at street fairs and schools, aligning with like-minded advocates and organizations around the country and world, and in 2018, by producing with the FOZE team, the first International Free the Elephants Conference & Film Festival.

Contact: Bala Seshasayee 503-662-2252

Bala Seshasayee is a volunteer with FOZE and a board member of the non-profit Heart of Ganesh which works to minimize elephant-human conflicts in range countries. An engineer by training, he is passionate about animal rights and grassroots activism. Over the last five years, he has helped organize demonstrations, fundraisers, marches and outreach events in the Portland area for a variety of animal rights causes and served as a moderator for the Community Involvement Panel at the International Free the Elephants Conference.

 Interview Questions
  • Why does the idea that captivity contributes to conservation persist?
  • Is there any validity to it?
  • What can be done to prevent extinction of elephants in the wild?
  • Why have 44 zoos closed or are in process of closing their elephant exhibits?
  • Are bull hooks necessary to manage elephants in captivity?
  • Is a four-acre exhibit sufficient to meet the needs of  elephants?What medical and psychological conditions do elephants in zoos have?
  • How successful is the zoo’s elephant breeding program?
  • What is meant by psychological extinction of elephants?
  • Where will the elephants go if released from the zoo?
  • Are sanctuaries the answer?
  • Now that Ringling has closed its doors, is it time to retire elephants from zoos?
  • Do zoo concerts have a negative impact on the elephants?
  • What do kids learn about elephants at zoos?
Media stories

 OPB “Think Out Loud”: Should Packy Stay at the Oregon Zoo

Courtney Scott on Lars Larson, KXL Radio

Oregonian Op Ed by Courtney Scott: Free Packy and the other Oregon Zoo elephants.

KOIN 6 The Elephant in the Room with the Oregon Zoo Bond4-part series

Elephant (Rama’s)  death draws criticism, CNN repost of KOIN report

Zoo keeper asked Metro not to euthanize Packy

The Oregon Zoo vs. Lily Tomlin: Celebrity activist wants to free the elephants

Animal Advocates and Keepers Urge Oregon Zoo Not To Kill Packy the Elephant if There Are Plans to Do So

Packy’s fight for life: ‘Meeting emotion with emotion

Packy’s untimely death should shine light on plight of elephants in zoos

Oregon Zoo Elephants Suffer in Equivalent of Puppy Mill NW Examiner

Interview with Carol Buckley, Elephant Aid International, Voices for the Animals KBOO FM

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