I agree with zoo fan, the editorial staff missed some information on this issue.
Some information the editorial staff is not mentioning is that african elephants in very large sanctuaries/reserves in africa need to be culled( that means killed, like the wolves) occasionally so thier numbers don't outgrow the food source. Also the two elephants at Reid park are already 10 years older than the "zoo life expectancy" age of half as long as thier wild counterparts. Indicating that they have been taken care of and are in good health. Finally, the larger enclosure will house a "herd" of african elephants, asian and african elephants housed together is not a good idea because the asian elephants can transmit a deadly disease to the african elephants. Obviously not affecting the current african elephant but could affect the incoming "herd". And finally, the enclosure Connie will be going to is a state of the art designed space for asian elephants, where she will also have a "herd" around her.
I also no longer go to circus and weaning on zoo's as well. Its sad to see those animals on display and barely have enough room to eat. im tired of seeing it and dont want to pay an money for them to keep them there. Whats better is if we had acres for these animals who happen to be here and let them roam free " not on display" but obeserve them and care but " no caged ". And there is really no point in breeding these animals unless they are breeding in the wild on there own will and not forced. This is why humans need there own planet because they cant seem to take care of this one
Science, compassion and common sense tells us that elephants do not belong in tiny zoo pens. It is the industry's selfish need to "have elephants" that causes them to deliver disingenuous reasons why they must be kept. True conservation takes place in the wild by many organizations that don't harm the very animal they claim to be "saving".
It is the manipulative tactics of animal rights extremists that truly deserve scrutiny. This editorial is filled with factual inaccuracies that are loudly and often repeated by protestors. If the editorial board had made any attempt to verify these facts, it could have easily found that elephants in accredited zoos live as long as their wild counterparts or that zoos are involved in more than 40 species reintroduction programs. To dismiss $90 million a year on conservation programs (the real number is $125 million) as "meager" shows that the Tucson Weekly is fully, and irresonsibly, in the camp of the extreme animal rights crowd.
The zoo officials are flip-flopping more than politicians and doing so at the expense of the lives of elephants. It is a tragedy and a shameful example of humans exploiting these magnificent creatures. It is time that we pass laws to protect wild animals from those who claim to be their caretakers. Zoos (and circuses) have had an ugly history of animal abuse and neglect all the while denying their psychological and physical needs exist. I no longer go to zoos or circuses as it is clearly apparent that the best interests of animals are not part of the mission behind these profit-making businesses. Thank you for writing these factual and educational words.
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