What about Maude? A recommendation
In Defense of Animals, an international animal–protection organization in San Rafael, Calif, has sent a letter to Central Florida Zoo CEO Joe Montisano, urging him to retire Maude, the zoo’s Asian elephant who is bereft since the death of her longtime companion, Mary. The group says that in the past, the zoo has indicated that when one of the elephants died, it would consider moving the other.
The zoo’s elephant exhibit can only hold two pachyderms, and although the zoo could try to acquire a second elephant, it probably would not be able to comply with elephant standards set by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that require zoos have no fewer than three female elephants, the group says.
The animal group said that because sanctuaries have more space, elephants integrate easily into social groups and soon form lasting bonds with companions of their own choosing.
The two leading U.S. sanctuaries, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee and PAWS in California, have set the standard for the care of captive elephants by providing spacious and complex environments that give elephants the space they need for movement, large social groups, and high-quality veterinary care, the animal group says.
Dr. Elliot Katz, the animal group’s president and a veterinarian, said, “At Maude’s age, if she stays in a zoo she’s likely to develop arthritis or other health complications. … Arthritis is a painful and potentially deadly condition for an elephant. A sanctuary provides the soft soil, space and exercise that elephants need to stay healthy.”
IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS • 3010 KERNER BLVD. • SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 • 415-448-0048
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