In Les Schobert’s article entitled “Let the Zoo’s Elephants Go” She discusses how national zoo is only embarrassing itself in the way that cares for its elephants. She covers how elephants are euthanized for foot problems that become debilitating. Which are caused from inadequate conditions in which they have been held. She informs us of the needs of elephants and how they may need to walk as much as 30 miles per day, in a landscape that covers as much as 1,000 square miles, and how they are confined to as little as 2,200 square feet.
She informs us of the problems going on in zoos across the nation very similar to this one. Her main claim to all of this is that zoos must change the concept of how elephants are kept in captivity, starting with how much space we allot them. She also gives us an answer as to how this can be fixed. She says some zoos.
Some zoos have begun to reevaluate their ability to house elephants, after deaths of several elephants in 2004. They have begun to send surviving elephants to a sanctuary in California. And by doing this the elephants are thriving.
She makes some alarming statistics on how life is cut dramatically short for elephants confined in the zoos environment. That elephants that die at 39 years of age, are decades early from their life potential and are shorted o the opportunity of bearing children.
She finishes by saying zoos have the opportunity to overcome its troubled animal care history. The zoo should do right by the elephants and the public should demand nothing less. My response to this article is that zoos should consider the treatments that elephants receive. This article was a definite eye opener for me. I had no idea that elephants had such a difficult time adapting to the life in an enclosed environment. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that I always expected and thought that all animals had it better in the zoo then they would have outside. Having professionals taking care of them all day every day.
I feel that zoos need to look beyond their bottom line at the end of the year, and focus on the well-being of their animals. I’ll be honest though, I would be disappointed to find out that an elephant was no longer at a zoo to be seen. That’s a highlight for many who go to zoos. But knowing they are healthier and better off in their own habitat would ease my selfish desire to see one in person.
If we choose to take on the role as care takers for animals. We must ensure that they have every opportunity to thrive and succeed as if they were out in the wild. Having every chance to live a long and healthy life.