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R.I.P. Annabel

Written by PETA | March 6, 2009
olifantenhuis / CC

On Sunday, a 45-year-old elephant named Annabel was euthanized after falling into a ditch that surrounded her compound at Emmen Zoo in the Netherlands. For more than two and a half hours, zoo workers tried to help the struggling elephant pull herself out of the ditch. Ultimately, firefighters used a truck to lift her out.

Annabel entered a deep state of shock. Once freed, the 3-ton elephant was unable to stand up, so she had to be euthanized. Heartbreaking images of her struggle can be viewed here.

The zoo was aware that elephants regularly fall into this ditch and strain to drag themselves out, but even after this tragic incident, a spokesperson has announced that the zoo has no plans to modify the elephant’s outside area because of space concerns. If this horrible situation doesn’t cause the zoo to think twice about the environment it provides for the animals, I shudder to think what would.

No animal deserves to live his or her life in a pitiful cage, but zoos have the obligation to provide—at the very least—a safe facility for animals. In the end, Annabel paid the price for the zoos’ irresponsibility. It is time for the zoo community to stop capturing and breeding more animals to be put on display and to leave animals in their natural habitat where they belong.

Please, never support the cruel zoo industry.

Written by Liz Graffeo

Commenting is closed.
  • Elisabeth Probert says:

    This made me cry. I’m so fucking sick of hearing about all the horrible things that happen to elephants in zoos and circuses. It’s disgusting and it needs to end.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Annabel where you are now there are no ditches. So sweetie run free and enjoy eternity I am one of those ministers who believes animals do indeed have souls.

  • GypsyWytch says:

    And this boys and girls is why zoos are bad news. Animals are not here for us to ogle at.

  • lucia says:

    r.i.p annabel

  • Cayce says:

    Poor Annabel. That zoo needs to be shut down.

  • Amber Falobas says:

    Can’t PETA do anything about this? Notify officials or anything?

  • greg prindle says:

    Poor thing you can see in the eyes how scared she is. Breaks my heart.

  • Maureen says:

    I remember a similar tragedy at the London Zoo in the sixties will we never learn. Holland is light years ahead of most countries concerning animal issues so if this can happen there heaven knows what goes on in zoos around the world.

  • Michael Essi says:

    Absolutely outrageous! As if confinement wasn’t enough the zoo couldn’t even provide a safe enclosure? It amazes me how this doesn’t make international headlines. Thank you PETA for exposing those organizations that are constantly touting how wonderful the animals are treated in their care. Falling into a ditch? going into shock? euthanizing an animal because of budget constraints on providing a safe enclosure? Oh what wonderful care those confined animals get! Disgusting!

  • Mike says:

    This is very sad In 2007 Perth Zoo euthanaised a 17 year old elephant because of muscular skeletal weakness which no doubt would have been caused by being kept in captivity. Zoological institutions should know better and leave these animals in the wild where they belong.

  • Lisa says:

    Zoos are disgusting. Even as a child I’ve never liked them. Poor Annabel… It really is awful that she had to suffer that way to draw some attention to the inhumanity of zoos. Hopefully her pain wasn’t for nothing. They should shut that place down. If they couldn’t give her a proper enclosure at the very least because of ‘space issues’ and stinginess with their precious money no doubt what’s happening with the other smaller animals? Smaller cages obviously. Morons. Elephants are intelligent kind loyal and incredibly sweet like most animals are if you give them the opportunity. They don’t deserve to be treated that way.

  • Aneliese says:

    Very upsetting story. I don’t want to look at the pictures who would? That zoo needs to do something about those ditches and fast.

  • vegancoin says:

    How sad. R.I.P. Annabel.