Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants is determined to get the three elephants at Woodland Park Zoo and Sri (on loan at the St. Louis Zoo) released to the 2,700 acre Elephant Sanctuary.
For about 7 months of the year, Bamboo, Chai, and Watoto live 16 – 17 hours a day in a small, barren barn stall. When they finally get outdoors they only have a fraction of an acre. This is horribly cruel and inhumane to the planet’s largest land mammal who needs to walk 10 – 30 miles a day for their physical and mental health. It’s no wonder captive zoo elephants live decades shorter than their natural lifespan. And it’s no wonder they all display repetitive stereotypic behaviors and have arthritis, colic and chronic foot infections – all evidence of captivity-induced stress and suffering.
Dr. Joyce Poole, who has studied elephants for 34 years said:
“In over 34,000 sightings of elephants [in the wild] not one elephant has been seen swaying rhythmically back and forth or showing other neurotic behavior – ultimately caused by lack of space.”
By contrast, at The Elephant Sanctuary, these girls would enjoy 2,700 acres of hills, fields, forests, and washes including a 25 acre lake! For the first time in their life they would be able to live as elephants should. They would be able to roam at will, which is psychologically restorative. Not only is the physical environment designed to meet their needs but their psychological and emotional lives will heal. The Elephant Sanctuary has offered to pay all the expenses for the transfer.
Education and conservation of elephants can be successfully accomplished without their suffering.
Allowing the elephants to live freely at The Elephant Sanctuary would be the ethical and humane decision of an enlightened zoo, government, and community.
Lack of space, crushing boredom, no free will – that is their life at the zoo.
We are committed to changing this.
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