Living in captivity is no life for an elephant, living in captivity … in total isolation … is even worse. That is the life Miyako the elephant has lived for the last 44 years. Taken from her family in Thailand at just six months old and transported to the Utsunomiya Zoo in Japan.

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Ever since, Miyako has had no social interaction with other elephants, which is easily one of the worse things an elephant can endure. These animals are extremely social in nature, even grieving the dead and forming strong bonds with their young. The highlight of Miyako’s day consists of biting on a steel bar out of boredom and trying her best to interact with zoo visitors. This sweet and intelligent girl has suffered silently for 44 years in her small enclosure with no companionship or comfort, nothing to do, and no one to turn to … until now.

A campaign called The Elephants in Japan is on a mission to help Miyako, and other elephants like her, by pushing the Japanese government and other authorities to develop legislation that will require zoos to be licensed and abide by certain standards.These standards would consist of strict enforcement of humane living conditions including housing and care, and yes … prohibiting the isolation of social animals like Miyako. For Miyako and other animals, this would be a huge step in the right direction and give these animals a much more enriched and fulfilling life.

The Elephants in Japan campaign is working hard with leading elephant experts and other organizations to make this dream a reality for Japan’s zoo elephants but they need as much support as they can get. By signing and sharing the petition, the greater the impact, which means authorities are more likely to take this case more seriously and action can be taken faster and more effectively. We also sincerely hope that authorities would consider sending her to a reputable sanctuary to live out her days.

The zoo is no place for an elephant, and by acknowledging their basic rights while in captivity we can work toward a future where these animals are not held in cages at all.

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Image Source: Pexels

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