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8 March 2010 - HSI statement on death of Taronga Zoo elephant calf      


8 March 2010                                          

Humane Society International (HSI) is saddened today by the tragic news that an elephant calf, died during a difficult labour.

“Whilst the loss of an elephant calf is devastating, a life in captivity is no life for elephants” said Alexia Wellbelove of Humane Society International. “Any elephant calves born to elephants in Taronga Zoo in the future face a life of captivity, confined to small city surroundings”.

City zoos simply cannot provide enough space to meet the needs of elephants—no matter how hard they try. And with the captive elephant population increasing, the zoos must relocate elephants to larger open-range zoos.  It has always been HSI’s position that if they were to be allowed into Australia, that Taronga’s elephants must be sent to Western Plains Zoo .There are no conservation benefits to Asian elephants from keeping them in zoos. No baby elephant from Melbourne or Taronga Zoos’ breeding program will go back into the wild. Global conservation plans for the recovery of African and Asia elephants do not include breeding elephants in western zoos.

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