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Elephants to get more trunk space

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event“The people of Los Angeles should be very proud of their City Council. They’re going to have a world-class zoo.” The council voted 13-2 for the exhibit, with Councilmen Dennis Zine and Bill Rosendahl opposed. “When I look at what we’re doing to them in the zoo, I don’t think it’s appropriate,” said Zine, who recounted his experience seeing elephants in the wild while on a photo safari to Africa. “They belong in natural environment, not an enclosure.” The decision to build the new elephant enclosure comes after more than a year of scrutiny by animal rights activists, who claimed the zoo’s original plan for a two-acre preserve was too small. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa concurred, and ordered an independent review of the elephants’ health and living quarters. The elephant experts recommended against sending the animals to sanctuary, instead suggesting the zoo expand the animals’ current half-acre enclosure to more than three acres. On Wednesday, dozens of animal rights activists packed council chambers for the final vote, with half in favor and half opposed. Critics wore T-shirts printed with a quote from Villaraigosa: “A zoo is not an appropriate place for an animal as large as an elephant.” After the vote, Villaraigosa said he still personally opposes keeping elephants in the zoo but would not contest the council’s decision. “I won’t veto this. The council has spoken clearly with this 13-2 vote, and I’m going to accede to the will of the council.” The Elephants of Surin exhibit, to be completed by mid-2008, will be funded, in part, with $17.7 million in voter-approved park bond money, $4.5 million donated by the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association and $2.3 million from the sale of private property donated to the zoo association. The city will make up the rest of the cost with $14 million borrowed from the city’s Municipal Investment Corp. To repay the loan, the city will pay $1.12 million each year from the general fund for 20 years, which will add $8.5 million to the $14 million cost. Exhibit opponents complained the exhibit was too expensive and would not provide enough space, particularly if the zoo ever increases its display to six to eight elephants as the general manager has suggested. As the City Council voters were tallied, opponents yelled “Free the Elephants,” and Catherine Doyle with the Los Angeles Alliance for Elephants said the group will continue pushing the city to ship the animals to a sanctuary. “This is a big loss for taxpayers and an even bigger loss for the elephants.” But zoo supporters said the decision will maintain one of the zoo’s most popular attractions, and provide a healthier home for the elephants. Actress and L.A. Zoo volunteer Betty White regularly joins the elephants on their morning walks and she praised the City Council’s action. “Now we’re got to get it done as quickly as we can.” kerry.cavanaugh@dailynews.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In pursuit of a “world-class zoo,” the City Council voted Wednesday to build a $39 million elephant exhibit – complete with grasslands and waterfalls – at the Los Angeles Zoo. Animal activists have urged the city for the last year to send the zoo’s three elephants – Ruby, Gita and Billy – to a sanctuary where the animals would have more space. But an overwhelming majority of the council was convinced the elephants are crucial to the zoo experience and that they would thrive in the 3.5-acre Elephants of Surin exhibit. “We have three elephants at the zoo… Right now we have to make it better for them, safer for them,” said Councilman Tom LaBonge, who has been the leading council proponent for the exhibit. last_img read more

Scout report: Assessing the ‘intelligent’ £18m wonderkid linked with Arsenal

first_imgArsenal are keen to sign Genk midfielder Sander Berge this summer.talkSPORT assesses the Norwegian wonderkid who could be making his mark in the Premier League very soon…Key details:Full name: Sander Gard Bolin BergeDate of birth: 14 February 1998 (age 19)Place of birth: Bærum, NorwayHeight: 1.96 m (6ft 5in)Position: MidfieldTeam: K.R.C. Genk (14 apps / 0 goals)National team: Norway (2 apps / 0 goals)Who is he?Sander Berge is a defensive midfielder who plays for Belgian club Genk and the Norway national team. After starting his career with Asker Fotball in the Norwegian second division, he joined Valerenga in the top flight. He quickly established himself as a first-team player, and in January 2017 Berge signed for Genk.Replacing Wilfried Ndidi in the Genk team, following his move to Leicester, Berge rapidly made a name for himself as a key player, and has earned admiring glances from Everton and West Ham, as well as the Gunners.What they say:Genk head coach, Albert Stuivenberg: “At 18 he is already very mature. He is intelligent, reads the game well, and takes the initiative. He has the potential to become a future leader.”Norway manager, Lars Lagerback, on transfer rumours involving Berge: “He is a very young player. He has a good role in his club, where he is on a pretty good level. So he must really think about it, I think. But of course it is up to him.”Playing style:A ball-winning defensive midfielder, Berge has a physical build but is able to win the ball with his skill and technique rather than by just overpowering players. While not the fastest, his positioning and reading of the game means he is rarely dribbled past.His main strength is breaking up play, but Berge also aids his team in possession. Providing driving runs from deep, he has a solid range of passing and rarely looks troubled under pressure. He is skilful enough to dribble past opponents without too much effort, though prefers to focus his game in the middle third of the pitch – rather than the final third. He would always look to play the simple pass and distribute to a teammate to try something special – though he cannot be criticised for this as he is a naturally defensive player.Areas to improve:The main criticism of Berge is the fact he has been playing in competitions generally regarded as having lesser quality than Europe’s top leagues. He was a star player in Norway and is building his reputation in Belgium, but there are doubts he could have the same impact should he move to England.He is physically gifted, meaning it should not be too hard to step up to another league, and his technical skills are exceptional for a player of his age – though will likely be shown up alongside better quality players.To develop into an all-round midfield player, Berge does need to work on the offensive aspect of his game. His lack of ability in front of goal – both creating chances for others and for himself – makes him rather one dimensional.Video evidence: Taking an expert look at Sander Berge 1last_img read more