Monday, September 12


Are elephants just a memory for some zoos? asks the Sun-Times of Chicago, where the American Zoo and Aquarium Association is holding its annual conference. We're familiar with the recent deaths and exhibit closures in a handful of zoos, but this is rather notable: "The dropoff in elephant exhibits likely will continue," officials of the AZA admitted to the paper.

Of course the AZA immediately tried to re-spin the prediction as a small, temporary dip. But I suspect there are more stories around the country of zoo's such as Philadelphia's, which wasn't mentioned in the Sun-Times' list of troubled exhibits:
"Zoo elephants may have to leave town," says the Inquirer, "[u]nless the zoo can secure a hefty state funding commitment this fall or dramatically lower the price of its proposed $22 million elephant savanna." The fact is that zoos can no longer get away with housing elephants on a super-cruel few hundred square yards of concrete and rock - over the past couple of years the public's consciousness has been raised just enough that that's obviously wrong. The only way to keep elephants is to invest massive amounts of money, which may prove more of a stumbling block for zoo officials than any ethical argument.

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