Louisville Zoo, Kuntacky, USA, continues to hold three elephants captive in a cramped exhibit. A mother elephant, her young calf, and their one companion named Punch — all held in a cramped enclosure in order to generate profits from paying customers.
Elephants are naturally evolved to live within close-knit herds and to enjoy endless space in which to roam. Louisville Zoo is falling short when it comes to giving these elephants the lives they deserve.
Please urge Louisville Zoo to send these three elephants to an accredited sanctuary now!
Louisville Zoo forces Mikki to endure a bittersweet motherhood
Credit: Matt Stone/Courier Journal, Louisville Courier Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC
After seven years of repeated and failed artificial insemination attempts by Louisville Zoo staff, 35-year-old African elephant Mikki finally gave birth to a calf this year.
Baby Fitz is the Louisville Zoo’s second elephant birth in its fifty-year history. In 2010, Mikki’s calf named Scotty died at age three from colic.
Like his mother, Mikki, and cell-mate Punch—who were both taken from the wild—Fitz will be robbed of the relationships he would naturally form with other elephants including other family members near his own age.
Asian elephant Punch is not the same species as African elephants Fitz and his mom, Mikki. Punch arrived at the Louisville Zoo in 1973 when she was about 3 years old.
This unnatural social grouping is utterly unsuitable for all the elephants but especially for Fitz since it fails to provide the vital kinship structure necessary to raise a healthy baby elephant. It also perpetuates a harmful and inaccurate picture of how elephants live in the wild, thereby negating any possible educational value while doing nothing at all to conserve these endangered and threatened species.
When one considers the significant boost to zoo revenue that comes with the arrival of new elephant calves, Louisville Zoo’s motivations become perhaps clearer.
Artificial insemination is the process used to produce babies for the zoo industry. It’s an unnatural, invasive, and likely traumatic experience for elephants, often requiring their legs to be chained down—indicating that individuals like Mikki would flee the procedure if given the choice. Still, the Zoo forced Mikki to undergo six artificial insemination procedures in 2016 alone.
Baby Fitz and his mother Mikki in the captivity of Zoo
In response to ranking on our 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants list, the Zoo confirmed that staff members “tethered” Mikki during the artificial insemination procedures, yet failed to provide proof that Mikki’s serum cortisol—a hormone associated with stress—remained low or that it did not spike during the actual procedures.
Your voice is needed now to ask Louisville Zoo to close its elephant exhibit for good and to send Mikki, her calf Fitz, and companion Punch to an accredited sanctuary where they can live the rest of their lives in peace.
My comment: Here are the most common myths that Zoo mafia uses to attract visitors.
Never bring your children to the zoo.
The education of a child does not get any better if it sees in the zoo how different the Japanese macaques from pig monkeys are.
It is more important to learn that these two species live in the wild, must be protected and must not be used for any purpose.
A visit to the zoo creates false education and morality for children.
My best regards to all, Venus