Monday, April 17, 2017

The Elephant In The Room

Elephant Rescued From Life in the Tourism Industry Greeted Like an Old Friend in Her Sanctuary Home. Elephant Nature Park (ENP) is a large animal sanctuary located in Chai Mai, Northern Thailand that takes in elephants who have been the victim of Thailand’s many cruel elephant fueled industries. For old and injured elephants like Jai Dee and Mee Sook, the kind people at ENP are their only hope for rescue.

Mee Sook, who was most likely stolen from her mother at an early age, spent the majority of her life giving rides to tourists in southern Thailand. Despite her age and injuries, she was forced to work every day in the searing heat, with a barbed chain around her leg. Luckily for her, she was found by the people at ENP and they were able to arrange her rescue.
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Rescuing an elephant is never an easy thing, but the good folks at ENP have rescued so many elephants that they are quickly becoming pros.
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After 40 long hours in the back of a truck, she arrived at the animal sanctuary and was taken to a shaded corral, where she was greeted by Jai Dee, another rescued elephant.

These graceful and highly intelligent animals are reported to have a complex social structure and incredible memories. They may also have impeccable manners, as we see in this video, where Jai Dee politely extend her trunk to welcome the newcomer. Then, in a moment of pure excitement, they clearly recognize each other, and go in for a big hug! Although it is as of yet unclear to ENP, it seems that Jai Dee and Mee Sok might have worked together in the past – or they simply recognized the shared suffering they had each experienced in their lives and instantly bonded. Either way, there is no denying the amazing empathy and joy they show for one another in this video.

This heartwarming video is proof positive that elephants do have feelings and may even remember their friends, just like people. It is impossible to say when these two elephants met or what experiences they shared. But it is clear that the shared experience will be the foundation of a new friendship, as these two ladies enjoy their retirement together at ENP.

If you would like to donate to Elephant Nature Park, visit their website of click hereAll image source: Elephant Nature Park

Sign Petition to Free Elephant With Sawed Off Tusks Who Has Been Chained for 50 Years! Gajraj the elephant is a 63-year-old male who has been living in chains for the past fifty-one years at a temple in Satara, India. He was once used to beg for money, but due to his failing health over the years, he has been forced to remain chained as a permanent tourist attraction.

This elderly elephant is suffering from several abscesses and wounds, particularly around his legs where decades of heavy shackles have rubbed his skin and flesh raw. The elephant’s cruel handlers have even gone so far as to saw off his tusks.  They claim this is to protect people, but according to a petition on Care2, there is reason to believe the tusks were sold in the ivory market.
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Gajraj is also exhibiting many signs of zoochosis, a serious psychological condition common within captive animals who are isolated and abused. The elephant has been reported neurotically swaying back and forth, bobbing his head, and compulsively trying to free himself from the shackles.
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If you are as outraged as we are by this blatant case of animal cruelty, please take a moment to sign this petition demanding that Gajraj is released from chains, gets veterinary care for his multiple wounds and ill health, and is released into a safe sanctuary where he can live out the remaining years of his life without torture and abuse.

The fight does not stop here, however. Elephants like Gajraj are used as tourist attractions and exploited for profit all around the world. Please remember this sad story of Gajraj and never support businesses that use elephants or other captive animals for entertainment and profit. You can visit the Save the Asian Elephants (STAE) website to learn more about ways you can becoming involved in saving our planet’s pachyderms. Click to SignImage Source: PETA India

Ruperta the Elephant is Starving in a Venezuelan Zoo! Sign Petition to Get Her Transferred. Venezuela is currently in the middle of a deep economic crisis. Since last year, there have been multiple media reports of zoo animals going hungry in the country, as the crippling economy has slowed food supplies. And now we have another heartbreaking instance to share with you. Pictures of a 46-year-old elephant named Ruperta who is currently at the Caricuao Zoo have taken social media by storm, and we have to warn you – they’re pretty shocking.

The photos show a full-grown elephant with protruding bones and a severely sunken face. After the photos went viral, Venezuelans launched a food drive to save Ruperta. El Universal reported that Ruperta is suffering from diarrhea and dehydration after zoo officials only had squash to feed her for several days. According to the newspaper, when neighbors tried to bring food to the elephant, zoo officials refused the donations, citing sanitary issues.

The government denied Ruperta is starving, saying that a stomach ailment had caused her to lose weight and required her to be on a restricted diet. But just last year, some 50 animals starved to death at the Caricuao Zoo due to the chronic food shortages, according to a union leader.

The government may deny that Ruperta is starving, but it seems evident that she is emaciated and is in need of medical care ASAP. Sign this urgent petition asking the Caricuao Zoo to relocate Ruperta immediately!
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Locals aren’t the only ones concerned for Ruperta. The country’s Environment Ministry released a statement saying, “Elephants could live in the wild until they are 60 years old and around 65 or 70 if they are captive. Ruperta is 46 years old. She is an animal that could be considered to be aging prematurely.”

Adult elephants in their wild habitat, normally eat between 300-400 pounds of food per day. However, in captivity, zoos admit to only feeding their captive elephants a measly 150 pounds of food per day (largely to stave off obesity that comes with their lack of exercise).  In the wild, an elephant would be grazing and eating a variety of foods all day long. In captivity, an elephant, unfortunately, has to eat whatever it is fed and on a schedule that someone else has made for them. All of which, goes against everything that is natural to an elephant’s instincts.

If you love elephants, don’t visit them at the zoo. Zoos exist primarily for profit and provide little to no benefit to animal conservation – save the zoos that have rehabilitation and release programs or donate profits to outside organizations helping animals in their wild habitat.  Unfortunately, the negatives far outweigh the positives for zoos, and they effectively only promote the idea that animals exist for our entertainment.

The good news is we all have the power to stop this industry. By refusing to purchase tickets, you can help put an end to the captivity industry. Opt to support sanctuaries that offer life-long care to former captive elephants, or organizations that work on protecting our wild and captive elephants instead.

Please sign this urgent petition asking the Caricuao Zoo to relocate Ruperta and give her the life she deserves and forward the petition to your friends and family. She is depending on us to be her voice. Image Source: @RcamachoVzla/Twitter

Urge Garden Bros. Circus to End All Cruel Animal Acts!
Tortured Circus Elephant
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is shutting down, and other circuses are committing to going completely animal-free—but Garden Bros. Circus is still working with disreputable exhibitors like Carson & Barnes Circus that force animals to perform confusing and often painful tricks. Please urge Garden Bros. to join the 21st century by eliminating all animal acts!

A whistleblower reported that Zachary Garden, the manager of Garden Bros., habitually beats animals, withholds food from them, and has refused to provide injured and dying animals with adequate veterinary care. In one instance, he reportedly struck a zebra with a 3-foot-long stick with a blunt metal end "with such force that the zebra fell to his front knees and then fell over sideways." Carson & Barnes' head trainer was caught on video viciously attacking elephants with a bullhook—a sharp steel-tipped weapon resembling a fireplace poker—and shocking them with electric prods as they screamed in pain. And another exhibitor, Hoosier Camel Encounter, has been spotted at the circus dragging a frightened buffalo calf on stage by a ring through his sensitive nose.
Saddened Elephants at Garden Bros. Circus
Venues and localities have already canceled scheduled performances by Garden Bros., refused to issue it permits because of safety concerns, and barred it from performing with wild animals, but the circus is still using and abusing animals. Please tell Garden Bros. to follow the lead of modern, animal-free circuses and eliminate its animal acts, highlighting its human talent instead.
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Urge Carson & Barnes Circus to End All Cruel Animal Acts! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is shutting down, and Cole Bros. Circus—which used animals from Carson & Barnes Circus for a long time—is no longer touring, but Carson & Barnes is still forcing animals to perform confusing, often painful tricks. Please join PETA in urging the circus to join the 21st century by eliminating all animal acts and sending the long-suffering animals to reputable sanctuaries.

Carson & Barnes has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act—including for failing to provide animals with basic necessities, such as adequate veterinary care, minimum space, shelter from the elements, and clean water. Video footage of a veteran Carson & Barnes trainer shows him violently striking elephants with a bullhook—a sharp steel-tipped weapon resembling a fireplace poker—and shocking them with an electric prod. This circus also has an abysmal record of endangering the public. In 2016, it agreed to pay $16,000 to settle an administrative enforcement action brought by the U.S. Department of Agriculture after three elephants became frightened, escaped from a circus performance, and ran amok for nearly an hour—causing damage to the venue and cars in the parking lot.

Please tell Carson & Barnes Circus to end its cruel animal acts and send the animals to reputable sanctuaries, highlighting the circus's human talent instead.

Hanover Zoo Staff Caught Beating Baby Elephants to Make Them Do Tricks
Through eyewitness footage, PETA Germany uncovered just how much pain and suffering elephants at the Hanover Zoo endure to prepare for their performances in circus-like shows.

A PETA Germany investigation captured video footage of elephant enclosures that are usually inaccessible to visitors. Here, elephants are coerced into performing senseless tricks with violence and force.

Through pain and punishment, baby elephants’ spirits are broken.
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The bullhook is the notorious weapon of choice in the circus industry, and it’s used in many German zoos, including Hanover Zoo, to dominate elephants.
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In the video, zookeepers are seen repeatedly terrifying the animals by sinking the bullhook into their skin and by whipping them.
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No animal wants to perform for humans.
Hanover Zoo regularly presents its Asian elephants in circus-like shows to attract visitors. This has nothing to do with respecting their natural behavior or with conservation.
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After reviewing the footage provided by PETA Germany, elephant expert Carol Buckley explained that this systematic abuse from an early age can lead to long-lasting, traumatic harm. She emphasized that this training serves only one purpose: to teach circus tricks.
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Elephants are highly intelligent living beings with complex personalities. They would never choose to balance on a pedestal to entertain humans. The baby elephants at the Hanover Zoo are completely at their trainers’ mercy. Their helpless mothers cannot protect them because they know they’ll be tortured with the bullhook themselves if they try.
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Elephants need your help.
As PETA has shown again and again, beatings and abuse are the norm for any elephant forced to perform circus-style tricks. Animal abuse can take place anywhere, but if you see wild animals performing stupid tricks, that’s a dead giveaway. Here are multiple actions that you can take to help elephants:


Hanover Zoo is Cruelly Forcing Elephants to Perform Tricks – Sign Petition to Stop This! They say elephants never forget, but should they be punished if they do, especially when they’re being forced to remember something that is completely unnatural and disagreeable for them? Because that’s what’s happening at Hanover Adventure Zoo in Germany.
With hidden cameras, PETA recorded zookeepers at Hanover Adventure Zoo beating baby elephants with torturous bullhooks, and even dragging one by the neck and causing him to cry out in pain. This was all done in a brutal effort to get these beautiful animals to perform mundane and shameful tricks such as walking in a circle on command, or sitting on their behinds to “beg.”

The zoo claims the bullhooks are simply “tools of guidance,” but experts agree that Hanover zookeepers’ usage of such is obvious abuse. “One mistake by the elephants leads to immediate punishment, bodily pain, harassment, intimidation and emotional stress. The elephants at Hanover Zoo live under constant threat…and live in daily fear,” American elephant expert Carol Buckley explained.

Life in a zoo is already damaging enough for elephants, who are highly intelligent and emotional beings that experience joy, love, grief, compassion, altruism, rage and stress, just like humans do. In the wild, they rely on complex and tightly-knit family structures that are rarely kept intact in captivity and are unquestionably disrupted by human activity, which invokes great anxiety, stress and even trauma in these animals. In addition, their bodies are designed to walk vast distances of 50 or more miles a day, but in zoos, they are forced to dwell in relatively small concrete enclosures that provide little in the way of mental stimulation, let alone exercise. As a result, elephants kept in captivity are chronically overweight and regularly display clear signs of mental zoochosis, such as excessive grooming, rocking back and forth, pacing, twisting of the neck, or self-mutilation. In addition, they frequently succumb to illnesses and diseases not often encountered in the wild, including tuberculosis, deadly foot disease, arthritis, infertility, and more.

For Hanover zookeepers to also treat these captives like circus animals causes even further mental, physical and psychological harm that can in no way be defined as appropriate or humane, and we cannot allow this abuse to continue a moment longer. Sign this petition on Care2 demanding an immediate stop to these abusive training methods at Hanover Adventure Zoo.

In addition, help other captive elephants by sharing this information and advocating an end to zoo imprisonment for all sentient beings. Click here to sign!


Stop Torturing Baby Elephants to Learn Tricks for Zoo Visitors