Zoos are the Wrong Place to Save Animals
Zoos continue to capture animals from the wild to put them on public display. In 2003, the San Diego Wild Animal Park and Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida, captured 11 African elephants, a species designated as threatened, from their natural habitats in Swaziland. Experts, scientists, and researchers who study elephants in the wild strongly opposed the capture, stating, “Taking elephants from the wild is not only traumatic for them, it is also detrimental to their health. ... [W]e believe the time has come to consider them as sentient beings and not as so much money on the hoof to be captured and sold and displayed for our own use.”
Several zoos have already recognized that they cannot adequately provide for the complex needs of elephants, and have made the decision to close their elephant exhibits. The Detroit Zoo sent two elephants to a sanctuary because, in the words of the zoo’s director, “Just as polar bears don’t thrive in hot climates, Asian elephants should not live in small groups without many acres to roam. They clearly shouldn’t have to suffer winters of the North.” SaveWildElephants.com has more information on zoos that have closed their elephant exhibits.