Written by PETA
Just two weeks after young polar bear Knut died suddenly at the Berlin Zoo, a baby Indian elephant named Shaina Pali unexpectedly died early this morning at the zoo. A necropsy of the 6-year-old elephant showed she most likely died of a herpes virus. Elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus (EEHV) is a deadly disease that is common in young captive elephants.
Scientific research strongly suggests that young elephants are susceptible to EEHV because of the stress of captivity, including lack of space and unnatural surroundings (Ringling’s ailing “Baby Barack” has EEHV). The Washington Post explored the issue of how well zoos care for their animals and found that even zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) have woefully inadequate standards. For example, AZA-accredited zoos only have to provide elephants with a 40-foot-by-45-foot outdoor enclosure, can chain them for up to 12 hours a day, and may use bullhooks to strike them.
PETA has set up a True Friends Memorial page for Shaina Pali where you can sign the guest book in her honor or make a donation to support PETA's efforts to get elephants out of zoos.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Knut, the polar bear cub who was the toast of the Berlin Zoo four short years ago, is dead. He was only 4 years old.
trespassers william/cc by 2.0
Months ago, PETA Germany had warned the head of the zoo that Knut was being terrorized by his three female companions, one being his mother, Tosca, (who had once been used in a circus.) He was under constant stress. PETA Germany repeatedly asked zoo authorities to move Knut away from the three females to a different location. Like most captive polar bears, Knut paced incessantly and bobbed his head repeatedly, signs of captivity-induced mental illness common in bears. One German zoologist termed Knut a "psychopath" but zoo officials insisted Knut was “fine.”
Previously, the zoo had tried to unload the less-cute (and less lucrative) adult Knut to another zoo. "It's time for him to go--the sooner he gets a new home the better. Anything else would be financially irresponsible,” said the zoo’s senior bear keeper. The plans were scrapped in the face of public opposition. Polar bears naturally roam vast Arctic expanses and open water—which no zoo can provide. An Oxford University study found that polar bears suffer physical and mental anguish in captivity and noted that a polar bear’s typical enclosure size is about one-millionth of his or her minimum home-range size.
People who care about bears should refuse to buy a ticket to any zoo that profits from their misery.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Many folks can't help shaking their hips to Kissin' Cousins, but when it comes to breeding imprisoned polar bears who share the same grandfather, you can be sure that our friends at PETA Germany will only be shaking their protest signs.
Here's the situation: Do you remember Knut? If not, you're not alone. A few years ago, there were several months when it seemed like everybody and his, er, cousin was talking about the Berlin Zoo's adorable baby polar bear. PETA Europe, in particular, protested the zoo's plan to hand-rear him. The baby was paraded for throngs of media and zoo visitors, but once he grew up, audiences' excitement and interest in the bear began to wane.
Well, now Knut is sharing his quarters with another polar bear named Giovanna, who is his cousin, and PETA Germany is calling for Knut to be castrated. To breed any polar bear in captivity perpetuates a life full of misery for animals who are roving predators with an instinct to roam and hunt. And in this situation, according to Frank Albrecht, an expert in captive animal welfare, if Knut and Giovanna were to have any offspring, it could threaten the genetic diversity of Germany's polar bear population, and the new bears could be susceptible to a condition known as "incest depression." (As if captive animals aren't depressed and frustrated enough already …)
Giovanna was moved to the problematic Berlin Zoo last year when construction work began on her own den in Munich. (Of course, the 64,000-Euro question is whether Giovanna will stay with Knut or be shuffled back to Munich.) There's no denying that Knut and Giovanna seem to enjoy each other's company, but allowing the two cousins to mate with each other (or with any other bears for that matter) would be irresponsible and cruel. Albrecht notes, "Knut fans need to know that only Knut's castration would allow a long life together with Giovanna."
So, tell us what you think:
Written by Karin Bennett
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.