No more Elephants for Auckland Zoo - The Petition Site

Sunday, 29 May 2011
No more Elephants for Auckland Zoo - The Petition Site

On May 25 the Auckland Council voted to approve the acquisition of two more elephants for the city's zoo to join Burma, the 28 year-old elephant who could live another 40 years of a miserable life in this zoo.

Elephants are highly intelligent, complex and self-aware individuals who have evolved for long distance living. In the wild they range tens of miles a day, live in large, tight-knit family groups, and communicate with one another at great distances. Yet zoos keep elephants in tiny exhibits of a few acres or less, where lack of movement and standing on hard surfaces cause painful foot infections and arthritis, the leading causes of euthanasia in captive-held elephants. The stress and boredom of intensive captivity results in abnormal behaviors such as repetitive swaying and head bobbing.

The process to bring the elephants to New Zealand includes a quarantine in their country of origin, flying them to the island of Niue for medical checks and more quarantine procedures before coming to Auckland. Yet Auckland's Mayor defends the Council vote by saying that the decision was important in helping Auckland become a major tourist destination and making the city the capital of events.

Despite strong opposition, the Auckland zoo pushed forward their plans, claiming that having elephants in captivity helps elephants in the wild and shamefully the City Council supported the idea.

Please ask the Auckland City Council and Auckland Zoo's director Jonathan Wilcken to cancel their plans to import two elephants and to better consider sending Burma to an elephant shelter overseas.



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