State Sen. Mark Hass injured at wooly mammoth preserve

Sen Mark Hass_thb

by NW Spotlight

The injuries Sen. Mark Hass (D-Beaverton) received after being nearly stepped on by a wooly mammoth are minor, and are not expected to require hospitalization.

Sen. Hass was at an event promoting SB 913, which is intended to close loopholes in the sale of ivory, when the accident occurred. Sen. Hass sponsored SB 913, which makes buying or selling ivory or rhino horns in Oregon a misdemeanor. The ban on buying or selling includes the ivory from elephants, hippos, mammoths, narwhals, walruses or whales.

Ivory definition from SB 913

Ivory definition from SB 913

Hass is sponsoring the bill to protect endangered animals, and told The Oregonian back in March “Ivory trafficking is an international crisis directly contributing to the endangerment of elephants and rhinos.”

Many had thought the wooly mammoth to be extinct and thus technically no longer endangered, but Sen. Hass has been given exclusive access to the Oregon Zoo’s secretive Rare & Endangered Animal Preserve at an undisclosed location in Washington County. The Preserve houses the largest living collection of wooly mammoths, as well as a limited number of Northwest unicorns and Oregon Republicans. Access to the Preserve is severely limited, which is why it created such a sensation when the 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park was allowed to film there.


Oregon Zoo’s Rare & Endangered Animal Preserve

Sen. Hass got too close to a wooly mammoth at the Preserve during a photo op, and the mammoth nearly stepped on his leg – causing concern Sen. Hass’ leg had been broken. Fortunately, x-rays subsequently revealed no broken bones.

SB 913 garnered media attention earlier in the Legislative session when the wording of the original draft cited ivory from nargles as one of the banned items. That wording has been corrected to narwhals. Commenting on the mistaken wording that introduced a mythical creature from the Harry Potter series, Sen. Hass noted “We don’t want to make a joke of this bill by having it include an animal that doesn’t even exist!”

SB 913 passed out of the Oregon Senate Judiciary committee on Friday – here are the amendments it was passed out of committee with (the wooly mammoth will still be protected).


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Posted by at 07:45 | Posted in OR 78th Legislative Session, Satire | 14 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Eric Blair

    The worry is that the legal trade in Mammoth ivory will be used as a cover in the poaching of elephants for their ivory. Now, don’t you feel a little silly; or, shouldn’t you?

    • MaxRedline

      Don’t you feel a little silly for supporting a bill that would make trade in such animal parts a misdemeanor?

      • Eric Blair

        LOL.. not as silly as your assumption that I support it. I simply explained the rationale behind the bill.

        I haven’t decided yet. Seriously, asking how I feel about the bill would be a good thing.

        • MaxRedline

          My view is that trade in all such animal parts should be a felony – not a misdemeanor. Thus, I see Mark’s approach as little more than a band-aid. Feel-good, do nothing.

          • Eric Blair

            I wonder how the person behind NW Spotlights feels about that. The mocking of the inclusion of Mammoth ivory leads me to believe that they don’t believe in the law at all.

          • MaxRedline

            Well, isn’t that an assumption on your part?I found the article amusing. After all, Metro Oregon Zoo sold their last bond measure on a claim that they were going to create an off-site “preserve”. That’s not going to happen, and it never was going to happen.

          • Eric Blair

            No, I think the article speaks for itself and is definitely mocking in tone.

            LOL. you found it humorous, and I just found it silly, and felt it was an attempt at mocking the entire bill by picking at this one element. I guess we both just get to read into what we wish. 😉

            I have no idea if the author was referencing the Oregon Zoo’s off-site preserve. At any rate, that doesn’t seem to have much to do with the intent of this article.

            Are you attempting to protect other conservatives from being criticized?

          • MaxRedline

            As stated previously, the bill is ineffective. To be effective, it needs teeth – and this one’s nothing but gums.

          • Juan Sung Ye


          • Eric Blair

            So you would be in favor of the bill if it made the crime a felony?

            I understand that’s how you feel, but my responses were directed at OC. This, and another post, seemed to be against the bill regardless of the consequences.

          • MaxRedline

            So you would be in favor of the bill if it made the crime a felony?

            That’s been my contention all along, Eric. I fail to see how introducing a bill that would make such trade in animal parts a misdemeanor has any meaningful effect.

          • Eric Blair

            Are you also in favor of making mammoth ivory a felony as well?

          • MaxRedline

            That’s used as a “cover” for trade, so yeah. Although I’d be remiss in not noting that the forensics lab in Ashland did make some great steps toward stopping that ruse, about 30 years ago: they ran DNA and other analyses that permits precise identification of origin, so it’s now possible to discriminate mammoth from walrus from African from Asian in terms of ivory.

            I donated specimens to the lab to assist in their efforts.

            Unfortunately, analysis is still fairly expensive, so until prices decline such that it can be made standard practice, I think it’s reasonable to felonize all such trade.

  • guest

    Configure Mark Haas as a Les-ser Aucoin, twit a DEMassdor attending the prevail-scent DEMwit society cravenly entertaining Oregon in criminal ways, ala infested with Chicago sewer ticks.

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