January 8, 2019

11:20 am

Not a Happy Place

More than a decade ago, the Bronx Zoo promised that it would "shut down its Asian elephant exhibit after the death of two of its three elephants, or even one.” Two months ago, one of those three elephants — Maxine — was euthanized but the Zoo, and yet no statement has been forthcoming about the remaining elephants’ fates. Even worse, the two remaining elephants — Patty and Happy — are kept apart for the animals’ safety. But that means both elephants are essentially kept in solitary confinement, which is cruel for such communal creatures.

Happy the elephant lives in solitary confinement at the Bronx Zoo, says In Defense of Animals.

For these reasons and more, the Bronx Zoo was named the worst North American zoo for elephants in 2018 by In Defense of Animals (IDA). IDA — which is a Moving Giants “Elephant Champion” — has for the past 15 years released an annual list of the worst zoos for elephants in North America, and the Bronx Zoo’s broken promise and isolation of Patty and Happy vaulted it to the top of this year’s list, released today.

“The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) operates the Bronx Zoo,” noted IDA on its website, “and has previously stated how ‘It would be inhumane to sustain an exhibit with a single elephant.’ Tragically it seems to have reversed its position, stating that it has ‘no intention of transferring Happy.’ "

New York State also had another entry on the list, Rochester’s Seneca Park Zoo, which came in at #9. The only other U.S. state to have multiple zoos on this year’s list is Texas, which has the Dallas Zoo (#3) and Tyler’s Caldwell Foundation Zoo (#7).

“Elephants are not thriving in constricted zoo exhibits, no matter how fresh the paint or the addition of an acre or two,” said In Defense of Animals President, Marilyn Kroplick, M.D. “So-called ‘modern’ zoos continue to use and abuse elephants as property in their relentless pursuit of profits — and the animals always pay the price. Please don’t visit zoos that hold elephants captive.”

To see the full list of the Ten Worst Zoos For Elephants in North America 2018, visit here.