Pulled from Suburban Life, a Chicago area newspaper
Brookfield Zoo officials denied Suburban Life’s Freedom of Information Act request for the release of Affie the elephant’s necropsy report in a letter Oct. 29.
the argument from the zoo:
The Chicago Zoological Society, [Ken] Kaduk wrote, is a “private sector, not-for-profit corporation,” and the FOIA applies only to public and government organizations.
“The Chicago Zoological Society manages Brookfield Zoo for the Cook County Forest Preserve District on a fee-for-service basis,” Kaduk wrote.
This sounds like a classic case of asking the wrong people for the information.
The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is a public agency, and is thus subject to the Illinois FOIA laws. They may or may not have the necropsy report, but they do have a board of directors and a zoological committee, and if I were doing the asking I'd call the zoo committee director directly and see what they knew; and, if they didn't want to say, I'd start by asking for a bunch of email between the various parties involved to see what was said around those times.