This superb article in the Seattle Times validates what “Friends” has been saying for the last seven years: elephants don’t thrive in zoos and shouldn’t be kept in zoos.  Breeding elephants should end immediately; suffering is an every day reality for elephants in zoos.

Check out this multi-part series, here: Be sure to check out the in-depth video on the page.

2 Responses to “Seattle Times: The dark side of elephant captivity”

  1. Ruth Yeomans on 02 Dec 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    Hi folks. I am one of the people who participated with the Salish Circa clowns at their protests re elephants at the WPZ last summer(little old grey haired lady, retired Aquarium educator). I am so happy to see this article, which as you say, validates all your efforts. I am now wondering if you are planning any at-the-zoo actions now and throughout this winter to take advantage of this article which many Seattle folks will hopefully read. Please email me at my home address above if you are. I will be involved with anything the clowns decide to do and you folks also…….

  2. Eileen on 02 Dec 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    Please, please, please allow these incredible creatures to live out the remainder of their lives in the sanctuary in CA instead of in the confines of Woodland Park or any other zoo. They are social creatures that need to be with their herd. They should not be exposed to the mishandling that has gone on for way too many years.

    In my own ignorance I thought that Chai being pregnant was very exciting and I eagerly awaited the birth of a baby elephant at Woodland Park Zoo. When Hansa was born I could hardly wait to see her and when I did, I cried with joy at the beauty, and playfulness and the magnificence of this gorgeous creature. And I wept when I heard of her tragic death.

    At the same time I was extremely naive about the lack of space for these wondrous creatures here in Seattle and other Zoos around the country and also what it took for Chai to become pregnant. Naively I thought that the elephant quarters were being enlarged a lot and there would be tons of room for them to roam and hang out with their herd. It is amazing to me that the treatment of chaining her, artificially inseminating her so many times, then also hauling her across country to breed her with another elephant in a zoo where there was known information about this deadly herpes virus plus the inbreeding that has been done in the world of captive elephants has been sanctioned by Vets all over the country. It is well known that inbreeding does not produce healthy animals in the long run.

    I do understand that artificial insemination can have it’s merits such as lowering the risk of injury to the cow from a particularly spirited bull elephant, but there has to be some limited, monitored and more humane way to deal with this situation. And for what? To have another elephant in captivity? What happened to rescuing injured or orphaned wildlife that the only alternative is to capture them and if unable to rehab them, keep them in a sanctuary of sorts?

    It is most likely too late for the elephants that are already in captivity as they may not know how to survive in the wild any longer or may never have known the wild. But let’s stop this nonsense by respecting them and allowing them to live out their remaining years at a sanctuary, with space to roam, food to eat and a herd to be a part of. We may find that with healthier and more humane treatment of them, they will live longer, procreate on their own and be less reason to ever be aggressive.

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