Great news out of Knoxville: The Knoxville Zoo has decided to permanently employ the protected contact (PC) system to manage the elephants there.
PETA has been urging the zoo to switch to PC, which involves using a barrier such as a metal screen, bars, or a restraint chute to separate elephants and handlers at all times. In PC, handlers don't hit elephants with bullhooks or keep them chained up. Elephants who don't cooperate are never beaten. PC is a far safer and more humane method of managing captive elephants.
If you're planning a summer road trip, please keep in mind that the National Zoo, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom still use bullhooks and chains on elephants—so keep on driving.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor