Target: President & CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Cristián Samper
Goal: Free elephants imprisoned at the Bronx Zoo and send them to a wildlife sanctuary
For more than 35 years, three elephants have been on display at the Bronx Zoo in New York City. These creative, intelligent and social animals have been forced to endure frigid East Coast winters spent in small, cramped cages without room to roam freely. Depriving these elephants of a life spent exploring their natural warm weather environment with their herd is enslavement and therefore a violation of their basic rights as living beings.
Happy, Maxine, and Patty have spent nearly four decades imprisoned at the Bronx Zoo, and while the zoo’s staff has certainly done their part to care for the animals as best as they can, it has become clear that the elephants’ needs are not being fully met. To remain warm during the harsh New York City winters, the elephants must be housed in cramped concrete cages for extended periods of time. Even worse, ever since Happy’s companion passed away eight years ago, she has been forced to live alone. This improper care can often result in increased health problems and psychological deterioration, as elephants require a complex social structure for optimal health and wellness.
Although the Bronx Zoo has pledged to “phase out” its elephant exhibit once the next elephant dies, all three of these majestic creatures should be allowed to spend their twilight years enjoying the beauty and freedom of life in a sanctuary. Forcing elephants to endure harsh winters to which they are unaccustomed and sentencing one to solitary confinement despite their social nature is inhumane and cruel.
By signing this petition, you will be urging conservation authorities to free Happy, Maxine, and Patty to a wildlife sanctuary where they can enjoy their remaining years roaming freely.
Dear Dr. Samper,
I am writing to urge you to free the elephants on display at the Bronx Zoo in New York City and transport them to a wildlife sanctuary where they may roam in a habitat that is more suited to their physical and psychological needs. As you know, elephants are incredibly complex and social creatures, and forcing them to a life of solitary confinement in a cramped concrete cage is cruel and inhumane.
While I commend the Bronx Zoo for pledging to phase out its elephant exhibit after the death of one of its three remaining elephants, I believe each remaining elephant should be allowed the right to roam freely in a wildlife sanctuary. The elephants at the Bronx Zoo have already spent 35 years living in captivity—they should not have to wait any longer for their freedom.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mister-E via Wikimedia Commons