Friday, July 19, 2024

Elephants require space, something zoos can’t really give

Lorraine Platt presents her guest blog post outlining the drawbacks of zoo keeping Elephants require in light of a recent report that was issued this month that looks at the welfare of elephants in captivity.

The reasons why zoos and elephants are incompatible

Elephants are the largest land mammal in the world, majestic creatures that belong to a very iconic species. Their intricate family and societal structures, along with their high emotional intelligence, are interesting.

For those of us who are lucky enough, we get to witness these creatures in their natural habitat, foraging across wide-open plains and contributing to ecosystem maintenance by making trails, enhancing soil fertility, scattering seeds, and preserving biodiversity wherever they go.

However, a lot of people would have only seen elephants in zoos or so-called safari parks, so they would not be aware of the difference between the excitement of seeing them up close and the fact that they are kept in small spaces with little to no enrichment.

Elephants’ 10,000 hectare natural range is comparable in size to both the entirety of Greater Manchester and the city of Liverpool. However, things are different in zoos. Zoo enclosures are often somewhat larger than one hectare. A hectare can be covered by an elephant in a single minute.

Elephants require
Elephants require

These small ranges deprive elephants of their essential natural freedom and limit their access to nature’s food supply, which consists of a wide variety of plants and shrubs that elephants graze on and forage in. Zoos make an effort in this regard, but no matter how hard they try, they will never be able to fully imitate Mother Nature. Elephants require mortality rates are high and their health is poor in zoos.

The lifespan of an African elephant kept in captivity is only 17 years, which is half that of an elephant in the wild. Overweight or extremely overweight elephants make up more than half of the Elephants require population in UK zoos.

According to recent findings, elephants in zoos and safari parks simply cannot lead fulfilling lives.

It’s not only a matter of space, though. Elephants severely suffer from tremendous psychological and social impairment when living in captivity. There is no way in which their intricate natural societies, consisting of several hundred clans, can be duplicated in a zoo setting. at actuality, groups at UK zoos typically consist of fewer than three people.

A paper on the special requirements of Elephants require , particularly with regard to space, was recently released by the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation. The conclusion was unambiguous: in spite of the greatest efforts of numerous zoos and the staff behind them, who genuinely care about the creatures under their supervision, it is a fact that sophisticated species simply cannot survive well in confinement.

Elephants require
Elephants require

calls to stop breeding elephants in captivity

Elephants in zoos and safari parks simply cannot lead fulfilling lives. That’s why, in our capacity as Co-Founders of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, we are advocating for the beginning of a strategy to phase out the use of elephants in zoos, in collaboration with the report’s team of knowledgeable authors and collaborators. Thus, breeding for one must end.

We are not the only ones that feel this way. In a survey conducted this year, more than 90% of participants said that elephants ought to have greater room than they do in zoos, and 89% of respondents said that elephants should live in the wild.

A few zoos have already begun to intervene. The Paignton Zoo recently said that they would not be replacing the two Elephants require that died there in 2019, citing their inability to give elephants the proper habitat.

We must act because elephants in captivity cannot lead fulfilling lives. First and foremost, we have to stop increasing the number of elephants kept in captivity. Secondly, we should think about moving elephants to better homes where they may age in harmony with nature and have the room they require.

There are currently only 11 zoos in the UK that house Elephants require; let’s work towards having none.

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