Here at Bears for Humanity, we’re not just for humanity, but for animals and the environment, as well! That’s why we wanted to highlight to you, our caring customers, that June 8th is International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos. Many zoos portray that their elephants are happy and healthy in their enclosures, but the truth is that any elephant in captivity is likely to have a much shorter lifespan than a wild elephant.
This June, Bears for Humanity will be donating 20% of all its sales to In Defense of Animals to help in their fight against elephant exploitation and captivity. That means you can help save elephants just by purchasing our organic, Fair Trade plushies. Read on to find out about other ways you can take action for elephants this June!
The Problem with Elephants in Zoos
Elephants are incredibly social and intelligent creatures. They live their lives in extended family groups and form lifelong bonds with other elephants outside of their family. They thrive in groups and in places where they are free to roam miles a day. Zoos, no matter how good their intentions, cannot provide the things that elephants need to truly be happy and healthy.
What are the biggest issues with keeping elephants captive in zoos?
- Elephants need to be with other elephants, because they are incredibly social creatures. Elephants in zoos are sometimes forced to live in solidarity and/or are removed from elephants they are deeply bonded with. They do not have the chance to live in a herd, which is their natural social environment.
- Elephants need a lot of space. In the wild, elephants sometimes travel miles in a single day. Zoos simply cannot provide the space that elephants need to roam. In cold weather facilities, elephants sometimes are locked inside very small enclosures to wait out the winter.
- Standing on concrete continuously is harmful to elephants. Elephants who are kept in concrete enclosures are at risk to develop knee and leg problems. In some cases, this results in death.
- Domination of elephants is immoral. In order to keep elephants in order in zoos, they must be dominated by their human keepers. This domination often includes use of bull hooks, and The Association of Zoos and Aquariums only recently decided to phase out these hurtful tools by 2023.
- Elephants die faster in zoos than they can reproduce. Zoos often depict their work as a conservation effort, but zoos are not sanctuaries. Elephants have a significantly reduced life expectancy at zoos. According to the In Defense of Animals’ website, “Zoos are consumers, not conservers, of elephants. Zoo captive breeding programs fail to sustain the population of captive elephants.”
But zoos really seem like they care about animals--can they really be that bad?
In Defense of Animals investigates many of the zoos across North America and has found truly disturbing information about many of them. In their 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants articles, they outline zoos’ disturbing treatment of these great animals.
The Pittsburgh Zoo removed a mother from its calf after only one month of it being born and put it on display. The calf became so ill, it had to be euthanized at only three months old. At Zoo Miami, four of their elephants died over a span of just seven years. One of these elephants, Cita, was knocked down by another elephant and laid by herself on the ground for 14 hours before dying. These are just a few of the horrible situations captive elephants have faced.
Actions to Take for Elephants
In Defense of Animals’ elephant campaign is dedicated to eliminating the demand for elephants in zoos and working to protect them in their natural habitat, as well. They investigate zoos and started the International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos to draw attention to captive elephants’ plight.
Here’s some ways you can support In Defense of Animals this International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos:
In Defense of Animals also has amazing resources for supportive folks and has provided a great list of actions we can all take to help elephants. Here are some petitions you can sign to help elephants.
- Ask Hogle Zoo to Shut Down Its Elephant Exhibit
- Tell White Oaks Conservation: Sanctuaries Don't Breed Elephants
- Shanthi the Elephant Died Too Young: Tell the National Zoo to Send Survivors to a Sanctuary
- Tell Louisville Zoo to Send Elephants to Sanctuary!
Thanks for reading and for being part of the solution for a better, safer world for all. Share this post on your social platforms to encourage others to take action for elephants this June!
Bears for Humanity was able to donate $1,336 to the In Defense of Animals fund, thanks to customers like you!