Elephants may be of the most intelligent and empathetic land mammals, but they’ve been treated horrendously by humans for centuries. Especially in the past few weeks, a number of horror stories have been revealed of elephants being abused while living in captivity.
For example, a 40-year-old elephant named Elderly Sambo recently passed away while giving tourists rides in 104 degrees F heat in Cambodia. Reportedly, she suffered a heart attack and collapsed on the job.
Now, news has surfaced of Sumatran elephant named Yani dying in Indonesia after she fell ill in a ‘death zoo’. Perhaps the most distressing part of the whole ordeal is that tears were strolling down the sickly elephant’s cheeks before she passed away.
According to The Daily Mail, Yani had been kept in a dirty, rusting cage at the Bandung Zoo on the island of Java. After she fell ill last week, zookeepers decided to move her from her enclosure and place her on the ground.
As the photos clearly reveal, their methods of transportation are primitive. In addition, Yani was likely in pain being transported in such fashion. The large sores on her lethargic body attest to this.
Activists will rejoice knowing that the zoo has been closed pending an investigation into Yani’s demise. While the cause of death has not yet been determined, a spokesperson for the zoo insists that the caretakers did all they could to save the elephant. This, however, is unlikely, as the zoo had been without a resident veterinarian for almost a year.
Sadly, this isn’t the only ill-maintained zoo in Indonesia. In fact, Indonesian wildlife parks have a poor reputation of housing animals in filthy, cramped enclosures.
Said Bandung mayor Ridwan Kamil, who visited the sick elephant before she died:
“If they don’t have the budget to manage (the zoo), they should seek support.”
Animal activist Femke den Haas, from the rights group the Jakarta Animal Aid Network, shares a similar sentiment. She criticized a lack of clear rules about how Indonesian zoos should be run with regard to such things as cage size and feed.
“Yani’s case is really just the tip of the iceberg because many animals are dying in Indonesian zoos,” she explained.
Outrage over Yani’s death has sparked an online petition calling for the zoo to be cleaned up. At present, over 10,000 signatures have been gathered.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, approximately 2,400 to 2,800 Sumatran elephants remain in the wild. Population decline of these critically endangered mammals is blamed on poaching and loss of their rainforest habitat.
More needs to be done to protect these critically endangered animals. Please start doing your part by sharing this article to raise awareness about the elephants’ plight, as well as expose the horrific conditions many more animals are living in at certain Indonesian zoos.
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