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