Rescue Hanako the Elephant From Concrete Cell

Hanako Ulara Nakagawa

Target: Hiroshi Moriyama, Japan’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Goal: Move lonely elephant from zoo to reputable sanctuary.

The oldest captive elephant in Japan, Hanako, has spent the last 61 years of her life in a concrete cell. She is currently 68 years old. Hanako is located at the Inokashira Park Zoo in Tokyo, Japan and it is unknown when she has last come in contact with another elephant. Her enclosure is barren without trees, grass, or other plant life.

According to the Japan Times, Hanako was first brought to the Ueno Zoo in Japan from Thailand at just two years old. A few years later she was moved to Inokashira Park Zoo where she still is today.

Hanako has obviously suffered mentally due to her living conditions. She has attacked quite a few humans and, as a result of this, ended up in chains for some time. This made her miserable existence even more depressing. On top of all this, her physical health is declining. She has digestive issues and most of her teeth are gone.

Hanako is only getting older and it is time she is given a happy life. Sixty-one years of living in a barren, concrete enclosure with little to no contact with others is no life at all. Hanako deserves a lush living area surrounded by other elephants. Sign this petition and demand that the Japanese government help Hanako now and move her to a reputable sanctuary.


Dear Minister Moriyama,

I am writing to you in regards of the elephant Hanako who is kept at the Inokashira Park Zoo in Tokyo. Hanako is the oldest captive elephant in Japan at 68 years old. Unfortunately, she has spent 61 of those years trapped in a barren, concrete enclosure with little to no contact with other elephants.

Due to her extremely neglectful and depressing surroundings, Hanako has suffered mentally. She has taken out her confusion, frustration, loneliness, and anxiety on a few humans. As if this wasn’t enough, Hanako’s physical health is suffering. She has digestive problems and has lost many of her teeth throughout the years.

Hanako has suffered more than any living being ever should. It is time that she lives a happy and healthy life surrounded by nature and friends. Take action upon the Inokashira Park Zoo and demand that they release Hanako to a reputable sanctuary. The least we can do for her now is make the last of her years happy ones.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Ulara Nakagawa

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  1. Cecily Colloby says:

    This is just about what you’d expect from Japan-they love torturing animals….

  2. Please let this poor elephant live out the rest of her life, free with other ELEPHANTS, in her natural habitat, where she can be happy and can enjoy the rest of her life….how could people be so cruel to isolate her for all these years in a horrible cement prison….This is beyond HEARTBREAKING!!!!

  3. Stop this suffering free Hanako .

  4. 68 years old!!! For heaven’s sake, have a heart!

  5. Animals are here on earth, like us, to be free. Zoos should be resigned to the past. Open up your prisons instead and we can all go and watch humans behind bars instead. The only difference here is that the animals are innocent and are treated as prisoners.

  6. Kae Blecha, OTR says:

    I doubt that any Japanese official will take pity on any animal. The only thing in Hanako’s favor is that she is not a marine mammal; then this petition would be COMPLETELY pointless.

  7. Poor, suffering elephant… 61 years of misery. We humans are custodians and have a duty of care to treat animals as well as possible. How animals fare, as a result, is either a tribute to our compassionate nature or an indictment of neglect and failure towards our duty. The quality of compassion is not specific to humans… animals have shown great compassion to humans, despite ill-treatment. But this tormented elephant has lost faith in humanity and is now lashing out… little wonder in that!



  9. Let’s get rational — let’s be compassionate —


    Please transfer Hanako to a Sanctuary where she can live happily, healthy and comfortably.

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