Tuberculosis is the Latest in Long List of Elephant Captivity-related Troubles

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Tuberculosis is the Latest in Long List of Elephant Captivity-related Troubles

[Ed. Note: There have been many elephants removed from zoos and taken to elephant sanctuaries where they are able to live on hundreds of acres and interact with other elephants. They NEVER have to perform. Most recently in April 2011, Anne The Elephant, Safe At Last. Two of the best-known elephant sanctuaries in the world are both in the United States: PAWS (Northern California) and The Elephant Sanctuary (Tennessee).]

From In Defense of Animals (IDA)

Following the diagnosis of tuberculosis in Donna, an Asian elephant at the St. Louis Zoo, In Defense of Animals (IDA) is urging the zoo to end its elephant program due to a history of elephant suffering from a broad range of captivity-induced problems.

One of the St. Louis Zoo's elephants.

“The St. Louis Zoo is a breeding ground for suffering, as a result of keeping elephants in inadequate and extremely unnatural conditions,” said IDA Elephant Campaign Director Catherine Doyle. “It’s time for the St. Louis Zoo to stop breeding elephants and to take a hard look at the serious problems the elephants are suffering under its care.”

According to IDA, St. Louis provides the perfect example of why elephants do not belong in urban zoos, citing the wide array of disorders directly related to their captivity:

Though elephants have a natural lifespan of 60-70 years, scientific data shows that those in zoos are dying decades sooner than elephants in protected wild populations. Some zoos have recognized they cannot meet elephants’ natural needs. In the United States, 18 zoos have closed or plan to close their elephant exhibits.