Urge Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley, Illinois, to Retire Elephants Sophie and Babe to a Sanctuary
Action Alert from All-Creatures.org

FROM

In Defense of Animals (IDA)
October 2013

ACTION

Tell Niabi Zoo’s director and the director of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve District and encourage them to consider retiring Sophie and Babe together to a sanctuary in a warmer climate where they would greatly benefit from round-the-clock veterinary care, room to exercise, and the companionship of other elephants.

Jeff Craver
Director
Rock Island County Forest Preserve District
1504 Third Avenue
Rock Island, IL 61201
phone (309) 558-3594
jcraver@ricfpd.org 

Marc Heinzman
Director
Niabi Zoo
13010 Niabi Zoo Road
Coal Valley, IL 61240
phone (309) 799-3482
mheinzman@niabizoo.com 

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

[See update announced only days after this alert was posted - Illinois Niabi Zoo Elephants Banished to Little Rock, Arkansas]

The Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley, Illinois, recently made the commendable decision to relocate two female Asian elephants—Sophie and Babe—to another facility that can better meet their needs. IDA and our supporters have long urged the zoo and the Rock Island County board to send the elephants to a facility that offers a more suitable climate, ample space, excellent veterinary care, and the companionship of other elephants. The zoo has reportedly narrowed down a search to three facilities and has stated that the elephants will be moved by winter.

Sophie and Babe must be moved to a facility that offers dramatically improved conditions—not more of the same. At ages 43 and 37, both elephants have chronic health problems exacerbated by the zoo’s tiny enclosure and long, cold winters that have kept the elephants confined in their cramped barn, sometimes for 24 hours a day. Sophie’s health is especially bad—she suffers from arthritis, painful foot abscesses, and pressure sores. The elephants’ health will only continue to worsen if conditions for them aren’t significantly improved.

Please take a moment to write to the Niabi Zoo’s director and the director of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve District. Please keep your comments brief and polite and thank them for recognizing that Sophie and Babe need improved care and better conditions. Please encourage them to consider retiring Sophie and Babe to a sanctuary in a warmer climate where they would greatly benefit from round-the-clock veterinary care, room to exercise, and the companionship of other elephants. Also, please point out that it is important the elephants stay together, since they are closely bonded.


Thank you for everything you do for animals!


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