Top 10 Tuesday: Reasons Why Elephants Do Not Belong in Zoos
Dumbo 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 the pachyderms. There’s so much to trumpet about, but here are 10 reasons why elephants have got to be set free:
1. It’s just wrong. No animal should suffer a life behind bars just for “entertainment.”
2. Elephants in zoos teach us nothing about elephants in nature. Unless the lesson of the day is to see listless elephants, bobbing their heads and pacing or performing other repetitive behaviors.
3. Zoos are killing them. 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’re so lucrative, elephants born in captivity will never be released into their natural habitats.
5. No zoo can provide everything they need. In their natural homes, elephants often roam up to 80 kilometers every single day! It is beyond the capabilities of zoos to provide this.
6. Elephants are complex. Elephants meet up with old friends, seek out extended family members, and even mourn their dead.
7. Cold weather can prove to be a killer. Many zoos in Asia are open-air, which is detrimental to elephants’ health 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. Profit first, species second. Zoos would better serve the species by helping to reduce poaching and habitat loss—the main causes of the species’ decline in the wild.
10. There are plenty of alternatives. You can learn about real elephants by watching nature documentaries or by observing them in their own habitats instead!
Posted by Ashley Fruno