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Elephant and Conservation Experts From Around the World Condemn Elephant Rides

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Elephant and Conservation Experts From Around the World Condemn Elephant Rides

From Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
July 2013

Statement by elephant professionals in opposition to elephant rides

PAWS has invited professionals in science, conservation and elephant care to join us in endorsing the following statement that addresses the use of elephants for rides.

We, the undersigned, are opposed to the use of elephants for rides at county fairs, carnivals, circuses, zoos and other recreational activities, for the following reasons:

Given current knowledge, it is unjustifiable to use elephants for recreational rides, and it is wrong to allow elephants to suffer just so they can entertain us.

The times are changing. More and more county fairs and other community events are eschewing elephant rides due to public safety and humane concerns.

We advise event organizers to reject elephant rides, and we strongly urge the public to refrain from riding elephants, to oppose elephant rides if they are proposed for a community event, and to support legitimate conservation organizations that are making a real difference for elephants.


Ed Stewart, President and Co-founder, PAWS

Cynthia Moss, Director, Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Kenya

Phil Ensley, DVM, DACZM, Former associate veterinarian with the San Diego Zoo

David Hancocks, Former director of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona, Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, Australia's Werribee Open Range Zoo, and Melbourne Zoo.

W. Keith Lindsay, Ph.D., Conservation Biologist & Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, Amboseli Elephant Research Project (Kenya)

Peter Stroud, Independent Zoological Consultant, Member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission Asian Elephant Specialist Group

Scott Blais, International Elephant Consultant

Carol Buckley, founder and CEO of Elephant Aid International and founding director of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee

John W. Freeze, Retired Animal Husbandry Supervisor, North Carolina Zoological Park

Gary Kuehn, DVM, Former veterinarian with the Los Angeles Zoo

Henry Melvyn Richardson, DVM

Will Travers, OBE, CEO, The Born Free Foundation, UK and Born Free USA

Margaret Whittaker, Animal Behavior Consultant, Active Environments, Inc.