Time.com published a scathing article on the shortened lifespan of elephants in zoos.

For animals living in the wild, nature plays for keeps. A life spent battling predators, famine, disease and the elements may be an independent one, but it can also be a very short one. That, at least, is the case zoos and wildlife parks often make when they contend that protective captivity may be a boon for many animals, particularly species that are endangered or threatened. But when it comes to at least one big and beloved creature, a new study suggests that a zoo might be the least safe place in the world.

In a survey of 4,500 captive elephants worldwide, a team of researchers from the U.K., Canada and Kenya found that once you lock up the giant, space-loving beasts, their health suffers, their median life span plummets, and they quit breeding — the last things you would want for a creature you’re ostensibly trying to help survive. “Whether or not it’s valid to say zoos keep species alive depends on which species you’re talking about,” says animal-welfare scientist Georgia Mason of the University of Guelph in Ontario. “Many species do well. Elephants don’t.”

Read the full article here.

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