Baby Elephant Sick, Likely Because of Zoo’s Desire to Exhibit a Crowd-Pleaser

For Immediate Release:
August 23, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Pittsburgh – Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews in response to news that the baby elephant at the Pittsburgh Zoo is in critical condition:

This elephant calf is sick and suffering, likely because human interests were allowed to trump those of the elephant and her mother. Breaking the bond between an elephant calf and the mother she depends on to nourish and nurture her can be life-threatening, but baby elephants boost zoos’ ticket sales, and sure enough, this baby was separated from her mother and put on display before the Pittsburgh Zoo even bothered to give her a name. As the zoo scrambles to save a baby who has lost 15 pounds since her birth, PETA is renewing its call for the facility to end its breeding program before more elephants face the fate of this nameless calf and her mother.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and more information about the Pittsburgh Zoo is available on PETA’s blog.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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