Elephants in captivity
Wednesday 23 October 2002
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) works closely with the UK Federation of Zoos to ensure that all animals in its collection receive the best level of care, and that the conservation of the species is a prime concern
Following the publication of the RSPCA report which recommends that elephants should not be kept in zoo environments, ZSL refutes this assertion and firmly believes that the care of elephants in captivity is essential to conserving the species and maintaining the world's biodiversity.
In providing good captive management for elephants, ZSL, in conjunction with the UK Federation of Zoos, is working to ensure the long-term survival of elephants, by providing 'back up' populations and valuable research data. The situation for Asian elephants in the wild is now so precarious that, if the present rate of decline continues, they are facing extinction of a sustainable population within 30 years.
The UK Federation of Zoos worked with ZSL, as a keeper of Asian elephants, alongside many other zoo keepers, directors, veterinary advisors, research biologists, animal behaviourists and nutritionists to produce guidelines, which were issued on 15th October 2002. These guidelines define and recommend best practice in all aspects of elephant welfare including nutrition, breeding, training and keeper safety.
ZSL believes that these guidelines provide a firm basis for ensuring that captive elephants have the best possible standard of care and play an important role in the conservation of this species.
ZSL PR CONTACT:
Nathalie Golden: 020 7449 6280
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