Elephant havens face zoo-industry backlash
American zoos face swift and harsh punishment when they retire their aged elephants to a 2,300-acre sanctuary in the California foothills.
After decades of captivity inside America's zoos, the elephants arrived broken in many different ways.
Maggie barely survived the harsh winters of the tiny Alaska Zoo. Confined many days to a cramped, indoor pen, she developed crippling foot and joint disease, collapsing to the floor — lifted only by a crane. Zookeepers conceded that frigid Anchorage was no place for a 4-ton tropical beast.
Annie spent much of her life in chains at the Milwaukee County Zoo until the public learned of brutal training sessions. Zookeepers routinely anchored the elephant's feet with chains, then struck and gouged her with a bullhook, even videotaping sessions to teach others how to make an elephant perform on command.
And there is Wanda, whose cracked feet and arthritic legs deteriorated with each bitter winter at the Detroit Zoo. Its officials concluded that captivity was unnecessarily cruel for the world's largest land mammal.
The three elephants now share a different life at a 2,300-acre compound nestled in the San Andreas foothills. Pat Derby, co-founder of the nonprofit sanctuary, says, "This is where elephants come to die."
But if the zoo industry's trade group had its way, their elephants would never come at all.
This post was modified from its original form on 03 Dec, 9:59
Thanks it's very interesting to read and watch videos about the captivity of poor elephants!
It is sad to see the conditions that they have to endue for many years before they ever get to the sanctuary, if at all. These are magnificent and intelligent animals, that are reduced to living and breathing robots. Jackie
I agree Jackie....thanks for posting Patrizia
The big,big problem in our world is the most peoples have no more respect for the animals or the natural.If you looks in the eye of an animal you can feel the love and emotions between them and you,really.
I so agree Thomas. So many people in the world don't care about animals and letting them be free to live in their habitats. I am so thankful all of us here have a passion for the animals, and are the voices for them. Wonderful elephants pic June. Thanks Patrizia