This Valentine's Day, consider the story of Lammie and Kinkel, who were together for 17 years. It's somewhat of a heartwarming story — except that the two elephants were living in captivity at the Johannesburg Zoo.
To make matters worse, Kinkel died in September of last year, and Lammie has been alone ever since.
Now activists are pursuing a more humane solution for Lammie, seeking her transfer to a larger elephant sanctuary, where she can enjoy the company of other elephants.
Lammie, who was born in captivity at the zoo, has had a somewhat turbulent life.
As reported by the Daily Mail, the "39-year-old elephant also suffered the loss of her week-old calf, the death of her parents, the relocation of one of her brothers to a French zoo, and the other being moved to a captive facility in Johannesburg."
The Dodo reported at the time of Kinkel's passing that his death "brought on a fresh wave of grief for Lammie." Her zookeeper reported that "she was seen trying to help Kinkel get up," and that she subsequently "refused to eat" the next day.
The campaign team seeking Lammie's release is backed by the Humane Society International/Africa (a Moving Giants "Elephant Champion"), the EMS Foundation, and the Elephant Reintegration Trust. But so far, though they have a petition that has amassed more than 120,000 signatures, the Johannesburg Zoo is instead looking to find a new partner for Lammie.