Should the Oregon Zoo keep its elephants?


  • FRANCES MARKEY - 9 years ago

    I am not against zoos who can look after their animals, but tying baby elephants legs up up during the night so they cannot move freely left in a standing position to break their spirits I find disgusting in a modern world. Although I know most of you americans are a little backward.

  • Vickie - 9 years ago

    Shame on Lily Tomlin and all of you other morons who condem zoos.........I bet you think the way you do because you were deprived from seeing beautiful animals when you were children.....oh that's right, children and Zoos go together like ice cream and cake....Zoo haters like Lily Tomlin are deceiving the public because she and them are uneducated, coniving, lying, third rate mentalities just like the fanatics you morons are because you want everyone to believe you! Zoos are essential.....the Zoo EDUCATES and somewhere you MORONS who hate Zoos missed that! OREGON ZOO PLEASE KEEP YOUR ELEPHANTS WHERE THEY SHOULD BE FOR THE BEST CARE

  • Tangie Smith - 9 years ago

    Clearly the people that voted yes have not done the proper research on wild animals living in captivity. It's very unfair for humans to use animals as entertainment. These animals suffer. Some end up having abnormal behavioral issues. And others have been known to attack their caretakers or trainers. Elephants are very docile animals. But being caged and forced to perform tricks is unnatural for them. Furthermore, performing animals are sometimes beaten, abused, starved for punishment, electrocuted, stabbed with bullhooks and worse. So, eventually, some of these animals lose it and attack. Can you blame them? Wouldn't you do the same if you were imprisoned, beaten and forced to do very difficult and scary stunts all in the name of entertainment? What these animals endure is inhumane. Many captive elephants are not properly cared for. They are confined to small spaces and their living space is not cleaned as it should be. Some are forced to stand in their own urine and feces which causes foot rot. Foot disease is very common for captive elephants and many have died because of it. Arthritis is another common ailment for captive elephants.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg! People need to educate themselves on the psychological and physical effects these animals suffer. Sadly, all of this will continue because zoos and circuses are very profitable. To learn more about captive animals, I recommend watching these documentaries: An Apology To An Elephant and Blackfish. Both are very moving. Hopefully, they will open the public's eyes.

  • Barb Blake - 9 years ago

    More information and education is needed to answer the question of Zoo vs. Sanctuary. Oregon Zoo needs to spend time educating the public and helping people understand if our elephants need a sanctuary. I would be happy if they had a couple acres without cement!

  • Houston - 9 years ago

    Studies show the following regarding elephants in zoos.
    Bath time to keep skin free of parasites zoos occurs daily in zoos, never in sanctuaries, most sanctuaries do not have the facilities or equipment to bath as they are dependent upon donations.
    Foot care is extremely important and inspection and treatment is ongoing in zoos, does not occur at all in sanctuaries unless the elephant is lame. If lame the usual routine in the sanctuary is to euthanize as this is one less animal to feed.
    Weight monitoring and nutrition is calculated and monitored daily in the zoos, but is left to chance in the sanctuaries. Most sanctuaries have no clue about nutrition and feed only hay as they do not have the funds to support these elephants.
    Enrichment and exercise are scheduled and performed daily in zoos in order to keep the animals active and in good health. In sanctuaries the elephants are left to their own devices with no contact. They tend to hand around the barns eating hay all day with no need to forage for food nor any good grasses to forage for these elephants lack exercise. It is the lack of knowledge of the care givers who believe human interaction to be bad thus leaving these animals to fend for themselves in an environment that is fast food rich and true nutrition poor. Any one who pushes for sanctuaries has no real idea of what elephants require to maintain health. By the way it is a myth that elephants live longer in the wild. The majority of them die before maturity and talk about stress they have to live through droughts, starvation, and attacks by other animals or poachers. This is so stupid for these people to spin lies about the needs of elephants to endanger all genetic diversity of elephants by sending them to the poor house which is what the sanctuaries really are when compared to the great majority of zoos. Shame on Lily Thomlin for supporting such idiocy. She is a PeTA animal rights cult member who has no real knowledge.

  • Lisa Black - 9 years ago

    It’s important that zoo critics realize that sanctuaries are not “the answer” to their objections about zoos. From the way that many folks bandy it about on the internet, you would think that an animal in a sanctuary lived a life almost identical to that of its counterparts in the wild; infinitely preferable, at any rate, to life in a zoo. Let me make this point clear: animals in sanctuaries do not necessarily have a better life than zoo animals; in fact, it is my experience that animals in conventional, accredited zoos are more likely to have larger, more natural enclosures, environmental enrichment, suitable veterinary care and nutrition, and more socially appropriate groups. Zoos can be accredited by AZA, CAZA, BIAZA, or other organizations. Sanctuaries answer to USDA alone (and USDA standards are not hard to meet).A animal in a sanctuary is still going to be living in a cage. Sure, it may be cared for by folks who mean well and want to give it the best possible life, but the same could be said in the zoo.
    When AR groups sing the praises of Sanctuaries for Elephants they always point out that they have hundreds of acres for the elephants to roam where Zoos have much smaller exhibits. This is true but all that acreage does not mean that the elephants are going to use it. They are like most animals even though they are very intelligent are going to hang out by the barn or close by. That is where there keepers are and where the food is. They dont necessarily use the space they have. It is a proven fact that elephants, when they have all the food and water they need, will not walk miles and miles a day just for exercise. Elephants are smart...why walk if I don't have to...they are going to move around but not like elephants in the wild that need to look for food and water.Elephants need . That can be very expensive. It could require lots of medications, vet treatments, foot care, special diets etc etc.. And can you imagine the cost if an elephant has to be immobilized for any reason..These things are all challenges that zoos face daily too, just they have the resources or the contacts to handle the situations .Sanctuary's don't have the resources and depend on donations.

    All in all Sanctuaries are no different than Zoos, they are just marketed as nirvana!

  • Maria - 9 years ago

    We have TV, FILM, documentaries, 3D film, internet, social media…we can enjoy elephants this way, OR visiting sanctuaries where they live happy and free and not enslaved so that people look at them..what a miserable life for such intelligent and sensitive animal!! Please read this and educate your self, OH and most important: have compassion!!!

  • jane - 9 years ago

    What planet do you no voters live on? Who can afford to go out of the country to see any kind of animal that we can see in the Portland Zoo?

  • Heather Mash - 9 years ago

    Voting requires expert information on a subject and I don't have that from the article, I read prior to voting a yes or a no. Why keep Packy in a Zoo if he can be moved to sanctuary, if indeed it is a healthier environment for his remaining years? Any research on the elephants raised in a Zoo transitioning to a sanctuary and the outcome of health and happiness vs remaining in captivity of the Zoo? Without more information I think the voting on this is totally emotionally based. Just my view.

  • sue - 9 years ago

    For all those who want elephants "released" into the "wild sanctuary", you might want to study the way bull elephants are handled, and how they behave in the wild. Asian elephants will not exist in the wild if we do not practice captive conservation and breeding and education of the public. For the person who suggested "taking your children on a TRUE experience of seeing wild animals", what planet do you live on? For many school children who come to zoos for tours ---- they have never seen a squirrel, let alone have the opportunity to travel to a far-off land to "experience" an animal in the wild. These are inner city children who may stand near an elephant enclosure and be so inspired that they choose a life's path that will lead them to be the next Jane Goodall, Birute Galdikas, or scientist studying and protecting animals. You do-gooders should stick to something you know and let the care and support of captive animals be handled by the excellent well-trained, loving, caring worldwide network of zookeepers and managers.

  • katie - 9 years ago

    this is not a true poll. one can vote. go back to the poll and vote again and again and again.

  • Justin - 9 years ago

    No one fighting for the elephants today have any experience working with them. Alls you have is false documents, stories, staged photos and information by some other person who doesn't know a thing about them...Everyone here is a A expert on elephants and think the know best because they can google, but that goes both each others sources and scientific evidence doesn't count...

  • Bobee Allan - 9 years ago

    I do not believe the amount of selfish and cruel people , that have voted for yes, keep these creatures captive. Shame on you !!!! HOW WOULD YOU LIKE A LIFETIME SENTENCE OF INCARCERATION, WITH PEOPLE GAWKING AT YOU THROUGH BARS OF A CAGE???? I guess not..........You can not surely call yourself feeling human beings???

  • Sandy Miller - 9 years ago

    According to National Geographic, elephants in captivity have shorter lives than those living free. The confinement and stress these animals suffer makes those lives miserable. Elephants don't belong in zoos, and Packy, who has known no other life and can't have many years left, should be retired to a sanctuary as soon as possible.

  • Jackie Feuz - 9 years ago

    You're right Eryn... elephants DO need our help. They need us to help set them free. And seeing as being free in this country (where they never belonged) is out of the question then a several hundred acre sanctuary is the next best choice where they can have at least some semblance of freedom.

    Do you call bull hooks, electric prods, dying from heat exhaustion in the back of a semi trailer on the way to the next circus, standing for 50 years on a concrete like square of earth the size of my house an amazing and excellent care program, then you and I differ on the definition of that.

    I don't doubt for one minute that you care for and love the elephants but why do they have to be on display for the amusement of humans? Does $$$$ have anything to do with it?

    What is so bad with extinction? Dinosaurs are extinct and our children know all about them!!!

  • Eryn murray - 9 years ago

    For those of you who don't actually have any animal husbandry experience let me give you my opinion , since I do. In my experience zoos and circuses and most private facilities have AMAZING health and care programs concerning elephants. If we don't get real about the situation with elephants we won't have any left at all. Right now the " wild" doesn't exist for them any more. We need concervation programs and breeding programs within captive facilities or these animals will be exstinct in a matter of years. Most of the media you read on elephant abuse is fabricated by lunitics who don't have an actual understanding of elephants in captivity . Before you condemn people due to misimformation , do some serious research folks. We need people to start seeing the truth , not the lies issued by people who don't have any training, knowledge , or actual love for these majestic creatures. Elephants need our help . It's up to us to show them we are going to protect and preserve their species .

  • christine warman - 9 years ago

    There should be no elephants in Zoo's,most of them have no idea how to look after them,and the keepers have had no training at all.

    If they cannot look after them in a proper enviroment they should be rehomed to somewhere they can.

  • diane bushby - 9 years ago

    For all those how voted yes to keeping the elephants in the zoo should be ashamed of themselves!!!! Instead of going to a zoo to see wild animals maybe you should try travelling outside of the USA and giving your children a true experience of seeing wild animals, instead of this false one you are perpetuating by visiting these horrible depressing places!!!!

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