Elephants deserve better, too.

Elephants deserve better, too.

There is growing resistance against the capture, confinement, and use of wild elephants. Animal rights advocates allege elephants in zoos and circuses “suffer a life of chronic physical ailments, social deprivation, emotional starvation, and premature death”. Zoos argue that standards for treatment of elephants are extremely high and minimum requirements for such things as minimum space requirements, enclosure design, nutrition, reproduction, enrichment and veterinary care are set to ensure the well-being of elephants in captivity. Circuses continue to have a mixed record.

reprinted from Wikipedia

To these concerns, add the deaths in recent years of two baby elephants in the Calgary Zoo from mother Maharani:

  • On November 17, 2004 an Asian elephant was born at the Zoo. She was rejected by her mother and died within 3 weeks of her birth of an overwhelming infection, despite the efforts of zoo keepers and veterinarians. She was given the name, Keemaya, after her death.
  • In August 2007, another Asian elephant, Malti, was born. Malti contracted elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus, a serious and invariably fatal virus October 31, and died on November 1, 2008 despite treatment.

In recent years, Lucy, the elephant in the Edmonton Valley Zoo, has received attention due to her continuing health problems and her solitary status. Just this week, Bob Barker, the former television game show host offered Edmonton city council $100,000 to spend however they please if they agree to allow independent elephant experts, selected by Zoocheck Canada and Performing Animal Welfare Society, to come to Edmonton and examine Lucy the elephant.

For so many years, the human race has kept animals for their own entertainment. But at what point do we recognize the inhumanity of such an arrangement? At what point do we consider what the lives of these animals are like and do right by them?