Elephants Belong in the Wild

morgue_elephants

Elephants belong in the wild, not in zoos

Elephants do not belong in zoos. They do not belong confined to spaces inadequate for them to function normally. In fact, most elephant zoo exhibits cannot begin to replicate the normal roaming and foraging patterns of elephants who, in one day, can cover 10 miles over ranges measuring hundreds of square miles. In addition, zoo elephants;
• 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.

The life of a zoo elephant is fraught with much pain, suffering, and sorrow. Therefore, permanently closing elephant exhibits and retiring the elephants to appropriate sanctuaries would do a great service to the world’s largest land mammal. Such a compassionate act on the part of zoo officials would serve as a true testament of their concern for the well-being of wildlife. Additionally, such an action will go far in fostering a public understanding and respect for the magnificent and gentle elephant.

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, respect, and concern for these gentle giants.

When you think about it…petting zoos—good idea or bad?

The best way to save baby animals from being raised in a petting zoo is to avoid visiting one.

When we think of petting zoos, we think of baby animals all sweet and innocent and young children fascinated by the little creatures they can touch and maybe even feed. However, there is nothing sweet about the lives these baby animals live. Babies belong with their families, especially their mothers. They do not belong in a zoo where they are kept together with animals of other species, often in inadequate environments, with little thought to their development. Once they are no longer babies, and therefore no longer cute, what happens to them? They may be sent off to another zoo, a roadside show, a slaughterhouse, or an individual who wants an exotic pet to keep in his or her home. All of these solutions are detrimental to the animal.

Along with the danger to the animals comes a danger to the humans who come in contact with them as many of these animals carry diseases which are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted to humans. So, a trip to the petting zoo might end in a case of mange, a parasite infection, or worse.

When you think about it…petting zoos are definitely a bad idea. The best way to save baby animals from being raised in a petting zoo is to avoid visiting one. If there is no audience, there is no income for the owner. With no income, there is no purpose in establishing a petting zoo.

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Elephants to Find New Home

Elephants do not deserve to be in captivity.

Paws Up!

To the Calgary Zoo for announcing plans to relocate its endangered Asian elephants.

According to a news story, “Zoo President Dr. Clement Lanthier says ‘The decision is all about animal welfare.’ ‘It was based on a growing acceptance and understanding of the importance of the social structure in elephant herds and the knowledge that their welfare is better served by being part of a large social group.’”

NHES opposes zoo elephant exhibits in which the elephants have insufficient space for roaming and foraging since elephants typically roam 10 miles a day over ranges measuring hundreds of square miles. In addition, some exhibits have elephants residing 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. Elephants in some exhibits endure conditions that induce psychological and emotional suffering; for instance, living in isolation for extended periods of time. They suffer from the inability to partake in natural behaviors, like forming family groups and may develop stereotypies, such as swaying or patterned walking, which are considered symptoms of psychological distress. Frequently, elephants are forced to live in climates that do not replicate their natural environment, causing them additional undue stress.

Take action: Canadian residents, please send a note of thanks to the president of the Calgary Zoo. If a zoo in your community has an elephant exhibit which limits the elephants in enjoying their true nature, contact the director and let him or her know of your desire to see the elephants moved to an appropriate sanctuary.

Dr. Clement Lanthier
President
Calgary Zoo, Botanical Garden & Prehistoric Park
1300 Zoo Road NE
Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2E 7V6

Source:
The Calgary Herald

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Elephants on the Move

It's great that Connie and Shaba remain together, but the best place for them to be is a wildlife sanctuary.

Paws Up!
To Reid Park Zoo, Tucson, Arizona, for deciding to keep elephants Connie and Shaba together as they moved to a new location.

Paws Down!
To the same zoo for sending them to the San Diego Zoo instead of an elephant sanctuary.

Where the animals are concerned, sometimes a good act turns out to not be a great act. According to a news source, “…after weeks of public outcry, the [Tucson, Arizona] city council decided to keep Connie and Shaba together.” However, that decision, although on the surface a good one, still leaves the two elephants at the mercy of zoo officials in San Diego where they are now residing.

These two elephants have a long history of caring for one another and deserve to be retired to an elephant sanctuary instead of another zoo.

Take Action: Write a letter to the San Diego Zoo asking them first to respect the two elephants by keeping them together and to further respect them by retiring them permanently to an appropriate elephant sanctuary.

Douglas G. Myers, Executive Director
San Diego Zoo Global
c/o the San Diego Zoo
2920 Zoo Drive
San Diego, CA 92101

Source:
KGUN-TV9
Reid Park Zoo

 

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Elephants Belong in the Wild not on Exhibit

Asian Elephant

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.

Find zoos near you, then check to see if they keep elephants.

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El Paso, Don’t Return Live Alligators to Shopping Plaza

Photo by Eric Enders

El Paso is redesigning the historic San Jacinto Plaza and some want to see a return of the live alligator display that was discontinued in 1965. In the past, the alligators suffered from cruelty at the hands of passersby. The animals endured thrown objects and cigarette burns and generally create mayhem for the reptiles. Eventually, to protect them, the alligators were moved to the El Paso Zoo.

Risking the alligator’s lives to revive a cruel attraction is inhumane and ill-conceived. NHES feels that the public is poorly educated by most wild animal exhibitions. Guests leave with a misunderstanding of animals’ true nature and an expectation that animals entertain; they do not leave with a passion for conservation.

This history shows that some memories are better left in the past.

Write a polite letter to the mayor of El Paso and encourage him to help keep alligators out of the San Jacinto Plaza. Also, if there are exhibits in your local shopping centers or public spaces, write your city council or mayor to help have the animal sent to a sanctuary.

The Honorable John Cook
Mayor
#2 Civic Center Plaza
10th Floor of City Hall
El Paso, TX 79901
Email form

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Speak up for Chimpanzees

Photo by Tim Ellis

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is looking at the issue of whether to list captive chimpanzees as endangered. They are currently listed as threatened. NHES commends the Service for looking into this issue as we believe captive chimpanzees should be listed as endangered. Too often, animals used in biomedical research and in the entertainment field, as chimpanzees are used, are then considered by the general public to be prolific and therefore not needing protection. However, the numbers of wild chimpanzees have steadily decreased in the past couple decades. Couple that with the change in attitude about using chimpanzees for medical research and it’s time for all captive chimpanzees to be listed as endangered.

Write a note of support to the acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expressing your position on captive chimpanzees being listed as endangered, not merely threatened.

Rowan W. Gould, Acting Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

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