Discussion in 'United States' started by ZooElephantsMan, 13 Jan 2016.
This is terrible.
These lists really tick me off. While I am a strong proponent of exhibiting elephants in captivity, my biggest problem with these lists is not that they argue that they shouldn't be kept in captivity but rather the way they villainify the people who work in zoos and portray them as heartless, cold-blooded murderers. Captivity right or not, these people love animals and work very hard for their wellbeing. Also, some of the zoos on the list have state-of-the-art exhibits that are by no means debatable as being the worst exhibits in the country for the species. This list shows the extent to which antizoo protestors will distort facts and the presentation of information to make a vicious statement.
I agree entirely. Oklahoma city zoo's review stood out the most. Not only were the authors of this article highly offensive to zookeepers (they said that "Apparently, the ticket sales that a baby elephant can generate are much more valuable than the welfare of the elephants themselves. This reckless breeding is a risky business that costs elephants lives."), which is in my opinion a bigger problem, but I believe they also had many factual errors.
Actually, EEHV is on a rapid decline
I believe that Bamboo is not marked for possible future breeding. It was mentioned at one point in time but they decided to just to watch her and probably won't do it.
Also, the IDA cites many statistics about how poorly elephants are doing in captivity, but elephants situation in zoos has changed so much in the past few years, their statistics are mostly outdated.
I hate the fact that we are paying attention ida almost as much as I dislike ida. They feed on the attention that they get from these frankly lousy lists, I have to question the wisdom of giving it to them.
FYI when I saw Tai and Rosie they looked very well. Nothing about them said poorly cared for Elephant. I couldn't help but notice that their handlers were giving them all of the little niceties as well, loosening their girths when they weren't working, giving them frequent breaks to eat hay, stroking them when they got antsy waiting for someone to mount them, etc.
I dislike this so greatly; It clearly seems their "first place" listing is an attempt to manufacture suspicion and anger towards zoos. As a side note,as someone who's been in the orca/cetacean captivity argument since it's become an argument,this seems remarkably similar to the anti-cetacean captivity arguments I've heard in the past. The words "abusement park" in particular make me irrationally angry.
I remember Buffalo Zoo responded to being on the list last year saying they are following all the guidelines of AZA. With only two elephants, kept separate from each other, no talk in getting a third elephant, I wonder if they will rebuttal again.
It's quite sad to see zoos that just renovated their exhibits into something wonderful for the elephants, but they find other things to criticize about the zoo's treatment of the elephants. This list always amuses, yet annoys me.
Shellheart, since this elephant argument is so similar to the orca arguments, do you think that soon there will be more laws about having elephants in captivity just like how theres all that stuff happening with limiting Seaworld San Diego's orca program now?
I have no doubt we'll be seeing attempts at removing elephants from zoos in favor of "sanctuaries" within the next 5 years. I remember when the Los Angeles Zoo was about to open their wonderful elephant habitat,there were more than a few protesters,and those protesters persisted through even the planning phases of the project,and caused some major changes. If opposition was that great 5 years ago,I believe it has only grown since then.
Not surprised to see San Antonio, Lucky's situation isn't even that bad. The number one spot outrages me.... The elephants also weren't even caught from the wild. They are cared for by keepers, the only difference is that now they will be (hopefully) be cared for by keepers in America. I agree some deserve their spots, but some obviously don't.
In fact, Dallas spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on improving their already great elephant care.
One other thing: why should I have any respect of ida if they keep acting like children in the worst kind of way? Sorry for being such a grump.
Also, hasn't Edmonton been advised against moving their animal because she has a medical condition?
I suspect that some of the (completely unwarranted) vitriol towards OKC has to do with their being angry about paws (who I feel is a scam organization more than anything) not getting Chai and Bamboo.
I do not think that PAWS is a COMLETE scam, just the organizations that support it are. PAWS at least recognizes that some zoos (like oakland in CA) are good for elephants, unlike other people who want all elephants gone from captivity everywhere.
I've been an obsessive zoo nerd for my entire life and I've now visited 325 different zoos/aquariums and continue to be invested in studying the zoos of the world. I admit that some of the bizarre choices of the "In Defense of Animals" group has left me shaking my head but it is interesting to see how things have changed since the very first list was made public in 2004.
Since that initial list of the "ten worst zoos for elephants" in 2004 there has been 5 zoos that have phased out elephants completely. Alaska, Lincoln Park, Lee Richardson, Philadelphia and Six Flags no longer have elephants and that erases half the zoos from the list. Los Angeles, Houston and the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., all spent between $40-55 million on multi-acre, brand-new elephant habitats. Of the remaining two zoos, Cameron Park was criticized for only having two elephants while El Paso is actively considering phasing out the species forever. As a strong supporter of good, improving zoos, is it at all possible to give some credit to the IDA for prodding zoos in a better direction? There have certainly been great strides in the welfare of captive elephants since 2004.
I think that those zoos who have made renovations would of probably improved their exhibits to be similar to how they are now even without the IDA criticizing them.
Completely agree with you.
Agreed. Advocates operate with a misguided,elitist perspective that is rarely challenged as anything other than an ideal situation is difficult to defend.
So it seems like you support CULLING these elephants. Do you support replacing them with another threatened species after they are killed as we know there is no option to successfully move them to another protected area?
I actually agree with some of IDA statements (while recognizing that other of their statements are at best misleading). However their new number one is completely absurd. The thing the gullible public does not realize is that most of these rights organizations that claim animals belong in the wild actually do little or nothing to protect wild habitat. Their hypocrisy is evident on their statement about the three way tie for number one. They apparently think rhino conservation is dubious!
I agree with you, ArizonaDocent, in that I agree with some of IDA's arguments, while finding other arguments based on misleading or inaccurate information. As for the number one issue, I also disagree with this being number one, but do think there might be a possible point: not that rhino conservation itself is dubious, but that the funds from the "sale" of these elephants is necessary (and/or will be used) to promote rhino conservation.
Yeah I think most people agree that some of the IDA list is reasonable, but it is still absurd on a general level.
One of the arguments that bothers me the most is this:
"Tusko leaves behind offspring Sam and Lily, who face a similarly bleak outlook, considering the short life expectancy for elephants in zoos. "
This argument bothers me so much because they are constantly saying things like, elephants don't thrive in zoos. Elephants die young in zoos. Elephants have so much disease in zoos. And they talk about all these statistics and all these experts who know what they are talking about when it comes to elephants faring poorly in zoos. They do not acknowledge that now we are in the present, and all that is the past. All the places have had so many new improvements lately. All these statistics are so skewed against zoos, because they include statistics about before modern elephant care has been used. Elephant care is evolving. But modern elephant care is still so new, that the statistics do not have enough evidence to prove that improvements are being made. If they want statistics to be accurate, they should use evidence from things that are currently relevant.
IDA brings up some good points, and I do wish that some of those zoos would send their elephants to another zoo or even a sanctuary. The problem with IDA (and other animal rights organizations) is that they rely far more on sensationalism than real facts. They call donating money to rhino conservation "dubious" as if the money is most likely going to something else, which they offer no support for. They also show skepticism and disdain for any statements that zoos make, like not wanting to move elephants because of medical conditions. I think they honestly believe that zoos will keep elephants to please guests and place that priority over their well-being by falsely claiming medical conditions as a reason not to send them away. Not only is this untrue, but it offers no factual evidence; it simply reeks of elitism and condescension, and plays on people's emotions.
To summarize, I think their intentions are genuinely good, but I disagree strongly with their methods and messages, which I would call "propaganda" (ironically, they probably say the same thing about statements from zoos )
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