PETA Statement: Elephant Birth at Troubled Pittsburgh Zoo

For Immediate Release:
July 28, 2021

David Perle 202-483-7382

Somerset, Pa. – Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews regarding the just-announced birth of an elephant calf at the Pittsburgh Zoo’s International Conservation Center, a facility with a history of missteps:

Federal records show that in 2017, the Pittsburgh Zoo was understaffed and unprepared for the birth of an elephant calf, who was taken away from her mother, was put on display, and died at just 3 months of age. PETA is calling on the zoo to learn from that tragedy and to allow this vulnerable new calf to be raised by her mother and given as natural an existence as possible. The zoo’s exploitative elephant-breeding program should be ended immediately.

Last year, PETA exposed a bid by the facility to have baby elephants captured in Zimbabwe. The facility would have paid for the capture of the animals, a process in which sharpshooters typically shoot the juvenile elephants with sedatives or tranquilizers from helicopters, which are then used to chase off their protective families. Conservationists and elephant specialists roundly condemn these traumatic operations.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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