From the International Business Times
September 25, 2013
How ironic and utterly hypocritical that In Defense of Animal’s Nicole Meyer makes this claim in this article:
“Most zoos are unable to provide elephants with the space and social dynamics that they need to thrive,” Meyer said. “There are some zoos out there that do a better job, and we acknowledge that. But in general, elephants are earth’s largest land mammal. They need space. They need exercise to stay healthy. They need to be with a multi generational herd in order to socialize properly.”
It is ironic as this is impossible to accomplish at either of the two elephant sanctuaries in the United States. Neither can provide multi generational family groups because they do not believe in breeding. I guess the needs of captive elephants simply changes according to whatever the current agenda of these anti zoo organizations is.
No mention of course from Meyers of the newly completed National Elephant Centre which provides everything a sanctuary can provide and more. The National Elephant Center can provide family groups with elephants of all ages.
More from the Business Time article “Ultimately, the disagreement is less about scientific method than two competing ideologies: Should elephants be kept in zoos or do they belong in natural-habitat refuges — like the 2,700-acre Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn.? Animal-rights groups say the latter choice clearly provides elephants with an environment that more closely simulates their natural habitat, but Meehan insists that criticizing zoo facilities based on comparisons to the wild is a faulty argument, one fraught with complexities that have yet to be scientifically studied.”
The only thing these sanctuaries can offer which simulates the lives of elephants in the wild is more space than zoos. However that too is changing and TNEC is the model for the future of elephants in North American Zoos.
Even Jane Goodall says here in this letter to the AZA that space is not the only or overriding factor for happy healthy elephants in captivity. She wrote this letter to clarify her original letter supporting the move of the Toronto Zoo elephants to PAWS. Activist groups took her original letter and used it to lobby that she was against elephants in zoos. We contacted JGI to ask her how she could support sending the Toronto Zoo 3 to PAWS considering the seriousness of the tuberculosis on site. They admitted to us that they had not followed up and that they had no idea the elephants had not left Toronto yet. We supplied them with all the FOIA and documented evidence and never heard back from them.
” What is important is that all of us who care should work together to ensure they recieve the best possible care. Every situation is different – not just the facility itself, but the life history, personality and health of the individual elephants. Decisions about their lives must be based on careful consideration of ALL factors. Space can be important to these large animals but there are other things to consider when evaluating a zoo or a sanctuary. The quality of space, enrichment activities to alleviate boredom and the expertise, integrity and compassion of the animal care professionals working with these magnificent animals is crucial to their well being.”
“Elephants in good zoos can serve as goodwill ambassadors and help inspire more people, young and old, to care about and support elephant conservation and, when necessary improve the lives of those living in less good captive situations. If we can accomplish all these things then we can truly make a difference for the quality of life for elephants around the world.”
Back to the news article, Meyer goes on to say:
“Meyer was not impressed. She said many of the initial findings presented at the conference simply confirmed what animal-rights groups have been saying all along — including the need for softer substrates and a correlation between improved body condition and increased exercise. What’s more, she worries that the zoo industry will attempt to use the research a way of validating its own practices, thereby giving it a convenient excuse to, at best, make a few marginal changes and, at worst, conduct business as usual.”
hmmm I will just let the pictures speak for themselves on this matter. PAWS offers 80 acres for its elephants, how come they are so FAT?! Could it be that enrichment and keeper led exercise and health regimes actually have value? Even more so than just wandering around a habitat all day on display for high paying visitors and celebrities?
What bothers me the most about this is that the media never takes the next logical step, they never line up these animal rights agendas and media statements side by side to evidence the sheer arrogant hypocrisy of it all.
More from Meyers
“It becomes difficult to carry on conversations because there are different goals and different perspectives,” she said.
“The challenge that elephants face in captivity and zoo environments are extreme,” she said. “The thing that will never change for elephants in captivity is that they’re in captivity.”
FYI Ms. Meyers they are in captivity in a sanctuary too. Animal rights groups make their living off animal suffering. Without it they have no jobs, nothing to define themselves with. They never work with zoos cooperatively to improve conditions for animals and they are NEVER satisfied with improvements. Their only mandate is to close zoos and they are happy it seems to allow what they perceive as suffering to continue while they spew statements to the media and run their campaigns. Funny how they never campaign for all the other animals in zoos as they accuse zoos of profiting from elephants motivated by greed. I would accuse these animal rights groups of the same offence and most certainly the same motivations with a little power hunger tossed in for good measure.