Close Zoo Exhibit After Second Elephant Death

Asian Elephant_By_Cacophany

Target: Oklahoma City Zoo Executive Director, Dwight Lawson

Goal: Close elephant exhibit responsible for the death of two elephants and move remaining animals to sanctuaries.

Yet another Asian elephant has died within the Oklahoma City Zoo elephant enclosure, making that two elephant deaths at the zoo within the past four months. Chai, a 37-year-old elephant, died alone and unattended, and was found by zoo workers when they arrived in the morning. The Oklahoma City Zoo obviously does not have healthy or adequate conditions for elephants, and it is time for it to close its elephant exhibit and transfer its remaining elephants to sanctuaries that can offer them longer and healthier lives.

Chai was transferred to the OKC Zoo just last May, despite animal activists’ attempts to block her transfer from Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Even the judge who approved the transfer was not optimistic about the living conditions Chai would have at OKC Zoo, stating that the facility couldn’t offer the necessary climate or amount of space that animal experts say are necessary for elephant well-being.

Not only was Chai knowingly sent to live in an unhealthy environment, but she also became the second elephant to die within that environment in the past four months. In October, a very young four-year-old elephant died of a Herpes virus.

The recent, unexplained death of Chai is just further proof that the OKC Zoo is not a safe place for elephants to live. It is terrible that this animal was knowingly placed in an environment that could not offer her a healthy or happy life, and it is time for us to ensure that the same mistake is not made with any more elephants. Please sign the petition below to show your support for the remaining elephants at OKC Zoo by demanding they be sent to sanctuaries that can offer them healthier, happier lives.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Lawson,

Within the last four months, two Asian elephants have died within the elephant enclosure at Oklahoma City Zoo. One of these elephants died alone and unattended, and the other died at the untimely age of four, suggesting that the habitat at OKC Zoo is not a safe or healthy place for elephants to live. I am writing to implore you to close the elephant exhibit at OKC Zoo and send the remaining elephants to sanctuaries that can offer them safer, healthier lives.

The median life expectancy for female Asian elephants is 47, however the two female Asian elephants who died within the OKC Zoo elephant exhibit were only 37 and four. Not only are elephants living much shorter lives within this exhibit, but it also doesn’t offer the climate or the amount of space experts say are needed for an elephant’s overall well being. The combination of these factors suggest that this exhibit is simply not adequate for the health of elephants and needs to be shut down.

Elephants are magnificent, intelligent, and social animals who deserve to live in an environment that keeps them active, engaged, and healthy. The exhibit at OKC Zoo simply cannot offer elephants the stimulation or socialization that they need, and therefore the moral thing to do is find a better place for the remaining elephants to live. Please make the decision that is in the best interest of these beautiful animals by closing the elephant exhibit and moving the remaining elephants to sanctuaries that can offer them better lives.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Cacophony

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5 Comments

  1. THIS PLACE SOUNDS AS THOUGHT THEY REALLY DO GO OUT OF THEIR WAY TO LOOK AFTER THESE BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, AS IF, CLOSE THE WHOLE PLACE DOWN, NOTHING SHOULD BE THERE JUST SO HUMAN BEING CAN GORK AT THEM, SICKENING

  2. Heather Brophy says:

    Dwight,YOU DON”T GET PAID TO BE IGNORANT AND CRUEL,LET THEM GO NOW!

  3. The director of our zoo in OKC is neither ignorant nor cruel We have a highly trained, competent, devoted and compassionate staff. I went through their docent training . I have found the workers to be to be kind and caring folks to both humans and animals, though I think most of them prefer the animals to us. Our zoo enclosures were built to provide as natural an environment as possible designed for each specific species. Believe me as an OKC resident for 40 years, the advancements made are phenomenal .
    The results are not in on cause of deatht for Chai.
    Should all animals in zoos be in santuaries? In an ideal world, yes. But we don’t live in an ideal world. In the meantime, OKC should not be singled out by this smear campaign. Our zoo is far superior to most zoos in the US. There are SO many animal abuse issues out there for us to be working to resolve, roadside zoos, performing animals ( i.e. Circuses etc), dog fighting, the numbers of animals euthanized in shelters. (Overpopulation, irresponsible pet owners), the list goes on and on!
    I sign petitions , send emails,and make phone calls every day on behalf of animals and will continue to fight the good fight as long as I am upright and breathing. I feel this petition is jumping the gun and pointing fingers when all the facts are not yet known.
    I ask you as a fellow animal lover, don’t sign this petition until some kind of negligence is proven.
    Thank you for taking the time to read my request.

    • Neville Bruce says:

      I know that well-run zoos are a massive help for wildlife (websearch David Attenborough – he says too), but they have to be well-run, and who is monitoring them? Your zoo does have a bad reputation, and though Chai’s death may have been unavoidable, the conditions there do not seem adequate, and perhaps they should concentrate on easier species?

      Regards,

  4. Why do we need zoos? Another Elephant is dead because of Humans playing god. Leave WILD ANIMALS in their natural habitat.

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