In Defense of Animals has created an international campaign to bring attention to the sad lives that elephants in zoos endure.
The first International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos (IDAEZ) will take place on Saturday, June 20th and will involve elephant lovers from around the globe holding demonstrations at their nearest zoos to educate the public about why elephants don’t belong there.
According to IDA, “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 typical of intensive confinement results in abnormal behaviors such as repetitive swaying and head bobbing.”
Elephant experts agree that zoos simply can’t provide the conditions that they need to be happy and healthy. Studies have also shown that elephants don’t do as well in captivity as other animals, as we saw with Billy, the lone Asian elephant at the LA Zoo, who unfortunately lost the battle that would enable him to go live in a sanctuary.
Elephants in zoos also have much shorter life spans than their wild counterparts. In zoos, female Asian elephants have an average lifespan of 18.9 years, while wild elephants live to an average of 41.7 years.
IDA suggests the following ways to help:
Coordinate an event. Submit your information here, and IDA will post it on their web site so others can join you on June 20 and help make your city’s IDAEZ event a huge success.
Join an Event. Check out IDA’s events listing page to locate one near you (be sure to visit more than once since IDA will be adding more events up until June 20).
Bring a friend or two to an IDAEZ event. Share information about the elephants’ plight with your family, friends and colleagues.
Hold an elephant awareness party. If you don’t live near a zoo that holds elephants but are passionate about taking action on June 20, hold an elephant party to raise awareness and donations for IDA’s elephant campaign.