Marine World Surrenders Permit to Import Baby Elephants

January 2003

In March 2002, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) rejected an application from Six Flags Marine World to import and put on display at the amusement park two endangered baby Asian elephants. When Six Flags Marine World requested that USFWS reconsider the denial of the permit, USFWS reversed its earlier decision and granted the permit to allow the baby elephants to be imported.

PETA, along with In Defense of Animals, Animal Protection Institute, The Elephant Alliance, The Elephant Sanctuary, and private citizens, filed a lawsuit to overturn the irresponsible decision. The lawsuit charged that the permit to import the elephants violated the U.S. Endangered Species Act and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, both of which prohibit the importation of endangered animals for commercial purposes. Less than two weeks after the lawsuit was filed, in an unprecedented action, Six Flags Marine World voluntarily surrendered its permit.

The elephants will remain in their natural homelands with their families.

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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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind