[Ed. Note: See October 8, 2010 alert No More Elephants at El Salvador's Zoológic Nacional.]
Defense of Animals (IDA)
IDA’s campaign to end the display of elephants at the Parque Zoológico Nacional in El Salvador is a success! The Ministry of Culture has announced that the zoo will not acquire another Asian elephant to replace Manyula, who died last September.
IDA applauds the government of El Salvador for its progressive decision to no longer keep elephants at the zoo, sparing another elephant from a lifetime of loneliness and suffering. And there is a new vision for the zoo that includes fresh leadership, upgrading exhibits to improve animal welfare, and decreasing noise around the zoo (which is located in San Salvador). The zoo will no longer acquire exotic animals and will instead focus on local fauna and animals of Mesoamerica (the area from central Mexico through Costa Rica).
Manyula, who was taken from India as a calf, lived alone in a tiny enclosure at the zoo for more than 55 years. Though deprived of all that was natural to her, she was a national icon and hundreds of people turned out for her burial. Shortly after her death, there were calls to replace Manyula with another elephant, but fortunately the government did the right thing and permanently closed the elephant exhibit.
Thanks to everyone who took action and sent messages to Salvadoran officials, and also to Salvadoran-born activist Sylvia Herrera, who brought Manyula’s plight to our attention and worked hard to ensure that no other elephant would again suffer at the Parque Zoológico Nacional. Please e-mail messages of thanks to El Salvador Secretary of Culture Dr. Hectór Samour and Georgina Hernández, Director of Cultural Development.