2009 TOP 10 WORST ZOOS FOR ELEPHANTS
"The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality."
FROM IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS (IDA):
San Rafael, Calif. - The 2009 list of the Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants, by In Defense of Animals (IDA), exposes the hidden suffering of elephants in zoos. In its sixth year, the list highlights how confinement of these giants to tiny enclosures wreaks havoc on their physical and psychological health and leads to premature death for many. For the first time, the list includes a Canadian entry, the Toronto Zoo.
India took the lead internationally last year when it stunned the zoo world by banning elephants in all zoos. Authorities cited problems common to most zoos, such as lack of space, poor breeding, and the absence of any positive effect on elephant conservation.
In contrast to India's progressive leadership, North American zoos remain mired in the past, denying the devastating impacts of zoo captivity on elephants, sinking hundreds of millions of dollars into woefully inadequate exhibit renovations, and clinging to archaic and cruel circus-style training methods. The expert testimony in federal court of Mike Keele, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ elephant group head, on behalf of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and its brutal elephant handling practices is a mark of just how out of step with progressive elephant care and advocacy most zoos have become.
"The Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants list shines a spotlight on the terrible suffering of elephants in zoos," said IDA president Elliot Katz, DVM. "It’s time for North American zoos to join India in recognizing that Earth’s largest land mammals don’t belong in urban zoos which lack the space and complex natural conditions elephants need. Zoos must follow the lead of the two U.S. sanctuaries that provide elephants with vast acreage in natural habitats and a far superior quality of life."
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"Ask not what an animal can do for you; ask what you can do for an animal." Jasper
"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men." ~Alice Walker
The source of the quote is Walker's preface to Marjorie Spiegel's 1988 book, "The Dreaded Comparison" . Her next sentence was, "This is the gist of Ms. Spiegel's cogent, humane and astute argument, and it is sound."
"I was so moved by the intelligence, sense of fun and personalities of the animals I worked with on (the movie) Babe that by the
end of the film I
was a vegetarian."
~ James Cromwell