Wildlife experts are urging zoos to stop holding elephants in captivity, calling it “archaic, unethical, and damaging.” Elephants in Zoos: A Legacy of Shame, a new research from the animal rights organization Born Free, has shown the often terrible reality for elephants kept in captivity and calls for their extinction.
By The Numbers
There are 580 elephants in European zoos right now, including 49 in the United Kingdom. The research, which has the support of a number of high-profile animal welfare organizations, claims that 40% of elephants born in zoos die before they reach the age of five.
Best for Them
Born Free calls for the capture of wild elephants to be transferred to zoos and the breeding of elephants to be stopped immediately, in addition to elephants in zoos being phased out. According to the survey, capturing wild elephants and sending them to zoos has a negative impact on wild elephant conservation and social stability.
It also emphasizes the difference between how an elephant would live in the wild versus in a zoo, noting that elephants in the wild would roam across large areas with herds of between 20 and 70 other animals, whereas elephants in zoos are kept in enclosures only slightly larger than a football pitch, with an average herd of only three, and some are kept completely alone.