Target: Dr. Lesley Dickie, Executive Director of European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA)
Goal: Move Tania, an elephant being kept alone at a Romanian Zoo, to a more appropriate living situation as quickly as possible.
The rules are clear: according to the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), elephants are not to be kept alone. However, Tania, a 37-year-old female elephant living at Romania’s Targu-Mures Zoo, spends her days by herself in a concrete cell. Urge the EAZA to stand up for Tania and grant her the conditions to which she is entitled by law.
Tania’s cell at the Targu-Mures Zoo is indoors and the floor is bare, In Defense of Animals (IDAUSA) reports. She has no interaction whatsoever with other elephants–a grave problem, since elephants are highly social animals. Tania, who apparently also spent 20 years alone at a French zoo prior to being moved to Targu-Mures, is very much affected by her dismal living conditions: she rocks back and forth regularly, an indication that she is in distress.
Zookeepers claim that Tania must be isolated because she does not get along with other elephants. However, the EAZA clearly states that zoos must keep female elephants together in groups. Tania must be allowed the opportunity to interact with other elephants; if she proves incapable of getting along with them, she should be moved to a sanctuary where she can choose how and when to interact with others. Sticking her unceremoniously in a cold, barren cell is not an appropriate course of action.
Tell the EAZA to stand by its own guidelines and stand up for Tania. Sign the petition urging the EAZA to investigate Tania’s situation and take immediate steps to procure better conditions for her.
Dear Dr. Dickie,
There is nothing confusing about the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria’s stance on housing female elephants: they must be kept together in groups. So why is Tania, a 37-year-old female elephant at Romania’s Targu-Mures Zoo, forced to spend her days alone in a barren indoor cell?
Tania is no stranger to ill-treatment; she reportedly spent 20 years living alone in a zoo in France. Her keepers claim that Tania cannot get along with other elephants, but confining Tania all by herself is not an appropriate solution, either. She shows signs of distress at being separated from others, and quite apart from her isolation, her living conditions are also substandard.
Tania needs the opportunity to interact with other elephants; if this cannot be achieved readily in a zoo setting, then Tania should be moved to a wildlife reserve where she can interact with other elephants at will. I urge you to immediately investigate Tania’s current situation and take steps to correct her grossly inadequate care as quickly as possible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: paul dickson via Geograph