Elephants, our largest land mammal, do not deserve the treatment they are receiving at the majority of zoos around our country. Elephants who live in some exhibits:
- Have inappropriate space for roaming and foraging. Elephants typically roam 10 miles a day over ranges measuring hundreds of square miles.
- Reside on hard ground and cement surfaces, contributing substantially to painful foot and leg ailments. Foot disease is a common cause of death in captive elephants.
- Endure conditions that induce psychological and emotional suffering; for instance, living in isolation for extended periods of time.
- Suffer from the inability to partake in natural behaviors, like forming family groups. Infant elephants are often shipped to other zoos or circuses.
- Develop stereotypies, such as swaying or patterned walking, which are considered symptoms of psychological distress.
- Are subjected to inhumane treatment through the use of bullhooks and other negative training devices.
Live in climates that do not replicate their natural environment, causing them undue stress.
Therefore, we urge you to contact zoos in your locale where elephants are being deprived of their natural environment, companionships, and freedom from inhumane treatment and urge those zoos to close their elephant exhibits and retire any elephants in their care to appropriate sanctuaries. By urging zoo directors to permanently close their elephant exhibits, you will be demonstrating your compassion and concern for the well-being of wildlife.