Top 10 Tuesday: Reasons Why Elephants Do Not Belong in Zoos

Posted on by Ashley Fruno

Manila Zoo's MaliDumbo was my favorite movie as a kid, and I’ve always had a soft spot for elephants. Even though no animals belong in zoos, I’ve always been extra sad for pachyderms who are held captive. There’s so much to trumpet about, but here are 10 reasons why elephants need to be set free:

 1.      Keeping elephants captive is just wrong. No animal should suffer a life behind bars just for the sake of “entertainment.”

 2.      Zoos teach us nothing about elephants. Unless the lesson of the day involves seeing listless elephants bobbing their heads, pacing, or engaging in other repetitive behavior, we have nothing to learn from elephants who are held captive.

 3.      Zoos are killing elephants. Elephants in zoos are dying decades short of their natural life spans from debilitating diseases related to captivity.

 4.      It’s an endless cycle. Because they make so much money for zoos, elephants born in captivity have almost no chance of being released into their natural habitats.

 5.      No zoo can satisfy an elephant’s needs. In their natural homes, elephants roam up to 80 kilometers a day! It is beyond the capabilities of zoos to provide this much space.

 6.      Elephants are complex animals. Elephants meet up with old friends, seek out extended family members, and even mourn their dead.

 7.      Cold weather can kill. Because many zoos in Asia are open-air facilities, elephants can suffer health problems in the wintertime.

 8.      People are waking up! Zoos around the world have closed or are phasing out their elephant displays because they recognize that these magnificent animals’ needs cannot be met behind bars.

 9.      Zoos put profits first and conservation second. Zoos would better serve the species by helping to reduce poaching and habitat loss—the main causes of elephants’ decline in the wild.

10.  There are plenty of alternatives. You can learn about real elephants by watching nature documentaries or observing the animals in their own habitats!

We all know what the “elephant in the room” is—zoos have got to go! Help us help elephants by taking our pledge to end animal imprisonment today.

Posted by Ashley Fruno