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Can zoos save elephants

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by vogelcommando, 16 Dec 2014.

  1. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

    10 Dec 2012
    fijnaart, the netherlands
  2. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

    18 Jun 2011
    London, UK
    Zootierliste lists 54 collections containing African bush elephants and 93collections containing Asiatic elephants. Zoos have already saved these species from extinction and only the forest elephant needs a captive breeding population.

    Elephants take up a lot of space i zoos and there is very little chance that there will be enough viable habitat for captive elephants to be sent to the wild, even if the money were available. Conservationists should be looking to save smaller endangered animals in zoos.
  3. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

    19 Dec 2007
    Everywhere at once
    This article repeats some misconceptions.

    -Although elephants don't breed in zoos as well as giraffes or most mammals, not many are kept and are long lived, so very few elephants are actually imported. Asian elephants are domestic elephants or retired circus animals, not wild ones. Only African elephants come from the wild, mostly calves from culls in overpopulated national parks. They would be dead otherwise. Grand total is only 1-5 elephants per year for all Europe in the last decade.

    -Zoos help elephants in the wild by funding and expertise for national parks, reserves, and plans in situ. For the funds to come, there must be zoo visitors interested in animals. Breeding animals for release in the wild is not the most common goal for zoos anymore. Every larger zoo supports some campaign or program for in situ conservation.

    The German journalist could ask some conservation organizations affiliated with German zoos, like Cologne or Zoologische Gesellschaft Frankfurt, what programs they run in Asian and African reserves. It would be far more interesting read!

    Maybe somebody on zoochat can tell details: when last time an Asian elephant was captured in the wild for European zoo? And how many elephants imported to Europe in the last 10 years came from the wild?
  4. Panthera1981

    Panthera1981 Well-Known Member

    9 Mar 2014
    If the opportunity to save a species is there it should be taken. Inaction and indifference are very dangerous bedfellows-the state of the Northern white rhino being a prime example. Too little too late.

    The role of the modern zoo should be to educate, conserve and, ultimately, restore. The loss of any species, Giant earwig or African elephant, is unforgivable IMO.

    And, yes, more should be done to initiate a forest elephant programme.
  5. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

    17 Apr 2014
    CT, USA
    I think they will be the ones to save Elephants. We are running out of wild Elephants, we need a back up population. The time to get this going is now, rather than at the last minute. Though we could someday look back at the present day as the last minute, given the way things are going for Elephants of all three species right now.

    We ought to initiate a Forest Elephant program. It would be a good idea.
  6. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

    12 Aug 2008
    California, USA
    Can zoos really "save" wild elephants by breeding them? No.

    Can zoos stimulate conservation awareness and action for elephants on a meaningful scale to protect elephants in the wild? In my opinion that is the question that zoos should be trying to address.
  7. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

    28 Jan 2014
    League City, Texas
    Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of elephant captivity, but elephants face so many problems in the wild that I like having a "backup population". (plus, elephant exhibits have improved a lot just in the last decade, so I'm less inclined to whine and complain)