At times it can be difficult to differentiate between a legitimate wild animal conservation facility and an inhumane zoo that exploits animals for a profit. However, there is no doubt that the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford, Massachusetts is an unsafe place for animals, particularly for elephants.
The Buttonwood Park Zoo has been on the list of the worst zoos for elephants for seven years in a row, yet they are still in business. Life in captivity within cramped enclosures has taken an extreme toll on the mental well-being of the two Asian elephants at the zoo. These elephants, named Ruth and Emily, would normally be sprawling mass expanses of land on a daily basis if in the wild or at a sanctuary, but instead, they are forced to share a tiny space, which has led to Emily attacking Ruth 36 times between 2005 and 2015, after which the zoo stopped keeping track. One of these incidents was so brutal that Ruth lost six inches of her tail.
In addition to failing to protect Ruth, the zoo has also failed to provide the elephants with proper veterinary care, shelter and space, food, and enrichment, and they have not allowed these pachyderms to socialize with other members of their species.
A petition on Care2 has been set up to speak up for Ruth and Emily and get them sent to a reputable sanctuary where they can live the remainder of their lives free from cramped confines and constant psychological and physical distress. The petition states that the city announced in 2013 that they would end the elephant exhibit after Ruth and Emily die, but this is not the right solution to the problem. Seeing as the city technically owns these elephants, they have the power to remove them from the zoo and send them to a sanctuary.
There is great power in public opinion, so please take a moment to sign the petition in support of Ruth and Emily and tell New Bedford to send these elephants to a reputable sanctuary NOW.
And please remember to share this with your network to increase support for these elephants and spread awareness about the truth behind wild animals in captivity.
Image Source: Pixabay