Urge Microsoft to End Virtual Tours of Ringling’s Breeding Compound!
Microsoft is offering virtual fieldtrips to Ringling Bros.' Florida-based breeding compound, despite learning that elephants there are chained on cement floors for up to 23 hours a day, threatened with bullhooks—weapons resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp metal hook on one end—and forcibly bred into captivity. Fieldtrips are supposed to be educational for children, but the only thing children learn from seeing elephants at Ringling's so-called "Center for Elephant Conservation" (CEC) is that it's OK to deny highly intelligent, sensitive animals everything that is natural and important to them. Join us today in urging Microsoft to end these misguided virtual tours!
Taking elephants out of its shows was a step forward, but Ringling's deceptively named center is little more than a concrete breeding compound where elephants are kept chained, even when giving birth, and mothers and their babies continue to be forcibly separated. PETA's in-depth analysis of the facility also found that the animals live under the constant threat of bullhooks and are shocked with electric prods. Females at the CEC live in unnaturally small social groups, and males are kept isolated behind bars.
If Microsoft genuinely wants to give children an educational elephant experience, it should promote true accredited sanctuaries, such as The Elephant Sanctuary (TES) in Tennessee. TES offers live "elecams" that provide distance learning opportunities to schools, allowing children to watch rescued elephants roam over 2,700 acres of wilderness. There is nothing educational at Ringling's concrete breeding prison. Please, speak up for elephants today! Click to help!
DEMAND BETTER PAY AND WORK CONDITION'S FOR RANGER'S OF KENYA WILDLIFE SERVICES (KWS) ! Target: Director General Kitili Mbathi , Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). Click to sign and click to help!
The bill to ban bullhooks in California just passed the Assembly with a 56-6 vote! Thank you to bill sponsor Senator Ricardo Lara and every Californian who took action to pass this important elephant protection bill. The bill now goes back to the Senate for a concurrence vote before being sent to the Governor for his signature.
STOP STEALING BABY ELEPHANTS TO BREAK THEIR SPIRIT IN PHAJAAN RITUAL, WHICH MEANS TORTURE AND STARVATION! FOREST DEPARTMENT KERALA, PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA. Click here to sign and to help!
Rhode Island Becomes First State to Ban Cruel Elephant Training Tool. Target: Gina Raimondo, Governor of Rhode Island
Elephants used in the entertainment industry are often trained with an instrument called a bullhook. Bullhooks are long, sharp sticks with a metal hook at the end. They are often used to beat the elephants until they perform the proper trick.
While some cities and counties have already banned the use of bullhooks, Rhode Island is the first state to ban the weapon. This is in part due to public outcry and petitions like this one at ForceChange. Hopefully more states will follow in Rhode Island’s footsteps.
Sign this petition and thank Rhode Island for banning this cruel training tool. It is inspiring to see more laws being passed that protect the rights of animals.
Zoo’s Reaction to Death of Elephant Calf Shows Exactly How These Facilities Think About Animals
The stories of elephants who have been forced to live in captivity are, all too often, riddled with tragedy and neglect. Take the heartbreaking tale of Happy (a hugely inaccurate name for a captive elephant), who has spent over thirty-eight years living in isolation in the Bronx Zoo, or the tragic fate of Malee, a young elephant who died last year in the Oklahoma City Zoo after the zoo went ahead with an ill-advised transfer plan that exposed him to a dangerous disease.
Elephants are, by nature, extremely intelligent, family-oriented animals who can travel up to 30 miles per day. This makes them one of the widest-ranging land mammals on Earth. In the wild, they live in close-knit matriarchal herds, typically headed by the eldest and most experienced female, who leads her daughters and their calves. Adult males live in separate “bachelor” groups. Elephants are renowned for being deeply emotional and perceptive animals who mourn when a loved one dies and know how to distinguish between humans who have harmful intentions and humans who are safe.
In captivity, however, elephants can expect to live in a space that makes up only a fraction of the territory they enjoy in the wild. Foot problems, obesity, and psychological issues are rife among captive elephant populations. As an outward manifestation of their mental distress, elephants in zoos will often display repetitive stereotypic behaviors such as head-bobbing, wobbling from side to side, or restless pacing. Self-mutilation and aggressive behavior are also commonly witnessed among captive elephants.
Sadly, the effects of a life in captivity can often lead elephants to contract certain diseases or infections that are rarely witnessed among their wild counterparts. This was recently the case for Willow, a six-week-old elephant born in Melbourne Zoo who has now passed away after battling a blood-borne infection.Willow had suffered from a variety of health problems throughout her life, arising from complications at birth.
On June 15, she was born with congenital carpal flexure (a condition that prevented her from standing up properly or being able to suckle her mother Num-Oi) and had to have vital nutrients fed to her through a drip. Corrective surgery enabled Willow to stand for short periods of time … but after acquiring a blood-borne infection in mid-July, her strength quickly dwindled.
Despite receiving round-the-clock care from zookeepers, Willow was ultimately unable to fight off the infection.
#EmptyTheCages! Tragic Story of Elephant Calf Who Died Beside Her Mother in Melbourne Zoo Shows Why These Animals Deserve to be Free
Willow was put to sleep last week in the company of her grief-stricken mother, together with the zoo’s elephant keepers and veterinary staff. While the zoo carers obviously had great affection for her, comments made by head veterinarian Dr, Michael Lynch are extremely telling of the way in which Willow was ultimately viewed by Melbourne Zoo: as an asset who was brought into the world specifically to bolster the zoo’s reputation as a hub of conservation. “While we felt there was a chance, we put the resources in and the zoo made that commitment,” he
“While we felt there was a chance, we put the resources in and the zoo made that commitment,” he said. “This animal was 22 months in the making in gestation. And before that there was a whole lot of planning. There are not many of these animals in captivity so she was a valuable animal.”
Willow was not the first elephant to die at Melbourne zoo in recent years – her brother Sannok died in 2013, at the age of just eleven months, while playing with a hanging tire in the elephant enclosure. Following Willow’s demise, animal activists are now urging Melbourne Zoo to phase out their keeping of elephant in captivity, pointing out that a captive enclosure can never hope to adequately satisfy these animals’ physical and psychological needs.
“Given the lack of stimulation and exercise and the inbreeding inherent at zoos, the infant-mortality rate for elephants is almost triple the rate in the wild,” said Claire Fryer, campaign coordinator for PETA Australia. “Melbourne Zoo continues to breed these intelligent animals in an effort to churn out more cash cows. Zoos around the world have closed their elephant exhibits or announced plans to phase them out, citing their own inability to meet the significant needs of these animals. It’s time for Melbourne Zoo to do the same.”
To learn more about why a zoo is no place for an elephant, read the articles below and share this post to help raise awareness … so that fewer baby elephants such as Willow will suffer the fate of a short, disease-ridden life in captivity.
In 2002, elephant ivory cost $120 per kilogram in China. By 2014, it cost over $2,000.
The worldwide elephant population is plummeting because of the illegal ivory trade. And unless something changes quickly, we risk living in a world where these majestic animals don’t exist in the wild.
Now is the time for change.
The World Conservation Congress is meeting NEXT MONTH to discuss ways to protect some of our most threatened species. One resolution calls for the CLOSURE of domestic markets for elephant ivory and a global ban on the ivory trade.
Elephant populations are in freefall as poaching drives the brutal killing and butchering of these precious animals, for their tusks and for their ivory.
This resolution has the potential to pull back elephants from the brink of extinction.
But time is running out. Stopping the demand for ivory and banning the trade is critical if we want to save elephants.
Sign your name in support of closing the global ivory market and BANNING the ivory trade:
 The New York Times. How the Ivory Trade is Wiping Out African Elephants. July 26, 2015.
 IUCN World Conservation Congress. 007 - Closure of Domestic Markets for Elephant Ivory. July 26, 2016.