Thanks to Blackfish, the world has awakened to the plight of whales in captivity, and thousands of people are fighting to outlaw it. The “Blackfish effect” also appears to be benefitting imprisoned elephants, who, like whales, are highly social and intelligent mammals who suffer in captivity. In fact, advocates around the world are running campaigns to rescue elephants who are being held alone in horrific conditions:
TANYA IN TARGU: Tanya, a 37 year old female elephant who was captured in the wild in the 1970s, is being held captive in a desolate, indoor, concrete pit at the Targu-Mures Zoo in Romania. And she has been all alone for 20 years, in spite of the fact that the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria requires that zoos house female elephants in groups. Her mental anguish is on display in this video.
Please sign the petition demanding that the Executive Director of European Association of Zoos and Aquaria send Tanya to a sanctuary
NOSEY IN NORTH AMERICA: Nosey, a 30 year old elephant who was captured in Zimbabwe when she was two, has been held captive by the Liebel Family Circus since 1988. In spite of her crippling arthritis which is captured in this video, Nosey is forced to give rides to paying customers at flea markets and fairs across the country. Advocates claim that the circus owner, Tom Liebel, and his employees have beaten Nosey into submission with bullhooks, a sledge hammer and shovel handles and that the USDA has cited Liebel nearly 200 times for violations. In spite of the violations, abundant evidence of abuse and a veterinary report stating that Nosey is “suffering, permanently disabled and crippled,” the USDA has refused to revoke Liebel’s license to exhibit Nosey and use her for rides.
Please urge your member of Congress to take action for Nosey and sign the Change.org petition demanding that the USDA confiscate her and relocate her to a sanctuary. On June 26th, hundreds of activists will descend upon the USDA in Washington, D.C. to protest the agency’s reckless disregard for Nosey. Robin Jewell, the organizer of the historic Miracle March for Lolita, has announced a March for Nosey that will take place at the USDA office in Raleigh, North Carolina, on October 23rd in 2015.
MALI IN MANILA: Mali, an elephant captured in Sri Lanka who has been confined to a concrete enclosure at the Manila Zoo for over 35 years, is “so lonely that she holds her own tail,” according to Jolie Nicole Shanoian, an activist who administers the Facebook page about her plight. The Manila Zoo, which is determined to keep Mali in her small, barren pen that has no vegetation or water for bathing, insists that she would not survive the transport to the Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand, which is prepared to rescue her.
Please sign the Change.org petition demanding that the Mayor of Manila release Mali to Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary.
Liberating elephants from captive and exploitive settings is possible. In 2005, the Detroit Zoo relocated Winky and Wanda to a sanctuary (PAWS), saying “despite our best efforts, we saw the unfortunate results of them living in an unnatural physical and social environment.” In 2014, Sunder, an elephant who was severely beaten and chained for 7 years at a temple in India, was taken from his abusers as a result of a court order and transported to a sanctuary.