Contrary to popular belief, captivity is actually killing elephants, not helping them. According to recent articles in the Seattle Times, most of the elephants who died in U.S. zoos suffered from diseases related to captivity. For every elephant born in a U.S. zoo, on average two others die, a Seattle Times analysis found.
What zoos are the most detrimental to our beloved pachyderms? Check out In Defense of Animals’ (IDA) recently released list of the Ten worst zoos for elephants:
- Edmonton Valley Zoo (Canada)
- Bowmanville Zoo (Canada)
- Woodland Park Zoo (Washington)
- Bronx Zoo (New York)
- Buttonwood Park Zoo (Massachusetts)
- Niabi Zoo (Illinois)
- Oregon Zoo (Oregon)
- Saint Louis Zoo (Missouri)
- Rosamond Gifford Zoo (New York)
- Africam Safari (Mexico)
IDA looks at a number of factors for determining which zoos make the Top Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants including health problems, lack of space, cold climates, unnatural behaviors, social issues between elephants, solitary elephants, breeding issues, premature deaths, and management style.
“Scientific research shows what elephants need in order to thrive: space to walk miles every day, family social structures, and a rich natural environment,” said Nicole Meyer, Director of IDA’s Elephant Protection Campaign. This is something that these zoos simply cannot, or will not, provide.
According to IDA and the Seattle Times, elephants in captivity frequently suffer from a dramatically shortened lifespan, arthritis and foot disease, psychological deterioration, and high infant mortality rates.
Find out what you can do to help these magnificent animals here.