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Tennessee officials agreed with PETA that the Knoxville Zoo should be penalized for allowing handlers to come into direct contact with elephants and has recommended $8,400 in fines in connection with the death of a handler earlier this year.
Since the attack, the zoo has switched to a safer and more humane method of managing captive elephants called “protected contact,” in which barriers always separate elephants and handlers. Elephants handled through protected contact are never beaten with bullhooks.
It’s time for all zoos to move to protected contact, before another elephant who has suffered one beating too many lashes out against the person holding the bullhook. If you live near a zoo that is still using pain, fear, and force to control elephants, such as the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.; Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida; and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in California, contact our Action Team for help with launching a campaign to put an end to it.
Written by Jennifer O’Connor