The International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos is an annual event conducted on 8 June to raise awareness about the plight of elephants in zoos and, ideally, to send elephants from zoos to authorised sanctuaries. Dedicated activists in 33 cities across seven countries held outreach events and demonstrations in its first year, attracting media attention and educating the public about the tragic consequences of keeping elephants in tiny, unnatural zoo enclosures where they have been suffering and dying prematurely.
The background of International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos
Veterinarian Elliot M. Katz served as President of In Defence Of Animals (I.D.A.) from its founding in 1983 until his death in 2021. Katz attended the School of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University and graduated with honours in 1989. After activists approached him for assistance in ending animal experimentation at the allegedly overpopulated and unsanitary laboratories of the University of California, Berkeley, he became embroiled in animal rights issues. As a consequence, Katz assisted in the formation of Californians for Responsible Research, which advocated for better animal care on campus.
I.D.A. believes that elephants perish prematurely in zoos because “urban zoos do not have sufficient space for these majestic and intelligent animals.” The animal rights group PETA has supported I.D.A.’s campaign against elephants in sanctuaries. I.D.A. routinely releases a list of the “ten worst zoos for elephants.” In 2004, the organisation claimed to have convinced the San Francisco Zoo to relocate its elephants to a sanctuary. On the other hand, the zoo maintained that I.D.A. had nothing to do with the relocation of the elephants.
I.D.A. has accused the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and other institutions of violating the Animal Welfare Act as part of a larger campaign. According to I.D.A., the U.S. Department of Agriculture has acknowledged “the severity of concern surrounding the poor environments for elephants in our nation’s zoos.” In response to I.D.A., Woodland Park Zoo argued that “the limited space argument is oversimplified” and “elephants in zoos receive the highest level of care available.”
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION FOR ELEPHANTS IN ZOOS ACTIVITIES
Attend a demo
Attend an I.D.A.-organized demonstration. Raising awareness about captive elephants is crucial.
Sign an existing petition or create your own
Sign an existing petition to request that your local government introduce legislation to terminate elephant imprisonment. You can initiate your petition if none exist.
Share via social networks
You can post anecdotes and images of zoo elephants on your social media accounts. Use #ActionForElephants and #InternationalDayofActionforElephantsinZoos as your hashtags.
5 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ELEPHANTS
The African elephant is the world’s largest land mammal, with males reaching an average height of 3.0 metres and weight of six tonnes.
African elephant ears are significantly larger than Asian elephant ears and resemble the shape of the African continent, while Asian elephant ears resemble the shape of the Indian subcontinent.
Elephant tusks are enlarged incisor teeth that appear around the age of two and continue to grow throughout the elephant’s lifetime.
An elephant’s hide can be as thick as one inch.
Elephants communicate with trumpet calls, body language, contact, and scent.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION FOR ELEPHANTS IN ZOOS DATES