On June 11, In Defense of Animals (IDA) will be sponsoring their third annual International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos (IDAEZ) campaign to raise public awareness of the plight of elephants in captivity and why elephants don’t belong in zoos.
Elephant experts agree that zoos simply can’t provide the conditions that they need to be happy and healthy. IDA states that:
Elephants are highly intelligent, complex and self-aware individuals who have evolved for long distance living. In the wild they range tens of miles a day, live in large, tight-knit family groups, and communicate with one another at great distances. Yet zoos keep elephants in tiny exhibits of a few acres or less, where lack of movement and standing on hard surfaces cause painful foot infections and arthritis, the leading causes of euthanasia in captive-held elephants. The stress and boredom of intensive captivity results in abnormal behaviors such as repetitive swaying and head bobbing.
In addition, many zoos still use a cruel, circus-style management method based on negative reinforcement and the use of bullhooks (a steel-tipped device similar to a fireplace poker) to poke, prod, stab and beat elephants into submission
Sign the petition protesting the Auckland Zoo’s plans to add elephants from Sri Lanka to attract tourists.
Visit helpelephants.com to learn more about the problems with elephants in zoos and take action.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30486689@N08/