PETA Blasts Feds’ Approval of Cruel Bid to Import African Elephants

For Immediate Release:
January 21, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

PETA Foundation’s Rachel Mathews released the following statement in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) soon-to-be-published assessment that it sees no reason not to allow three U.S. zoos to import 18 wild elephants from Big Game Parks in Swaziland, Africa:

This is a shameful transfer of young elephants who were taken from their families for commercial purposes, an elephant slave trade. As PETA earlier pointed out to federal authorities, elephants are intelligent, social, and wide-ranging animals who need to be in the wild, not separated from their closely knit families and displayed inside small enclosures where they will almost certainly suffer from trauma, stress, aggression, and chronic disease and die prematurely. Baby-elephant displays boost zoos’ ticket sales at the animals’ expense, and it’s shameful for the authorities to approve of this money-grubbing plan to send once-free African elephants to endure a life of captivity in American zoos.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has made its formal comments to the FWS available here.

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