It is, unfortunately, no surprise that the reality of life for zoo animals is often very far from what we would like to imagine. As children, many of us went to zoos to watch and admire all the animals that we would never have a chance to see in real life – after all, we visited zoos because we loved animals and wanted to see them up close. But, in reality, we often make a huge disservice to those very animals by buying tickets to these facilities.
Animals in zoos are often kept in captivity for no reason other than profit and paltry entertainment, although zoos may call this “conservation.” And, let’s face it, zoo animals are rarely happy and often they do not receive the care they require and deserve. Sometimes we are reminded of it very brutally – like in the case of Suzi the elephant.
According to a petition on Care2, Suzi was one of the animals kept at the Lahore Zoo in Punjab, Pakistan. She was brought to the zoo in 1992 when she was six years old. Because of a shortage of funds, and the unavailability of other African elephants, she was forced to live her life completely alone. Suzi died on May 13, 2017 – when she was only 32 years old. The natural lifespan of an elephant is around 60-70 years.
From the day Suzi arrived at the zoo to the moment of her untimely death, she never saw, let alone interacted with another elephant. During her last three days, Suzi was unable to sit and was kept standing for almost 98 hours. When she finally managed to sit down, it was only to take her last breath. The zoo’s administration did not disclose postmortem reports.
Suzi’s heartbreaking story is another reminder for us all that wild animals are not meant to live in captivity – which is something that you would think seems obvious given the tragic end to countless captive animals. Since the existence of most zoos has nothing to do with animal conservation and their educational factor is also entirely debatable, it’s time we stopped to rethink our support of those places.
In the light of what happened to Suzi due to the Lahore Zoo’s mistakes in taking care of the animal, the establishment clearly should not be trusted with another elephant. Click here to sign a petition against the Lahore Zoo owning another member of the species!
Image source: Lahore Zoo/Facebook