Target: Tianjin Urban Planning Society, Directors of Tianjin Zoo
Goal: Cancel dangerous elephant kung-fu displays
Elephants are being forced to perform dangerous martial arts inspired stunts at the Tianjin Zoo in Nankai, China. For 20 minutes five times a day, the two Asian elephants sit, kneel, and even do handstands on a platform of plum-blossom stakes in the searing Chinese heat. While some well-trained humans can do this easily, these kinds of tricks are painful and distressful to elephants, which cannot distribute their two-to-three ton weights as effectively as a human.
Not only could the performances result in serious physical or mental harm to the elephants, they also pose a risk to zoo guests and animal trainers. Elephants under extreme stress have been known to snap, injuring and killing trainers and bystanders in a rampage. Since 1990, at least 60 deaths and over 120 injuries have been caused by captive elephant attacks according to the Global Action Network for Animal Rights.
Elephants, while extremely intelligent, have also displayed sentient behavior such as mourning the loss of a family member. This makes them particularly vulnerable to the psychological aspects of training, such as captivity, isolation, and abuse. In order to protect them from mental distress and physical injury, it is imperative that they be treated with respect. Your signature will demand that Tianjin Zoo immediately cancel all of its elephant shows and release them to a sanctuary where they may enjoy improved conditions and a more natural lifestyle.
Dear Tianjin Urban Planning Society,
Two Asian elephants are being forced to perform dangerous kung-fu-inspired tricks at the Tianjin Zoo. The elephants are expected to sit, kneel, and stand on beds of plum-blossom stakes, with iron stakes being used on occasion to encourage the elephants to balance only on their front legs.
Elephants are sentient and intelligent creatures that are highly vulnerable to mental illness associated with captivity, isolation, and abuse. Under extreme stress, they can injure or kill trainers and even bystanders watching the performance. In the past 14 years, over 60 deaths and 120 injuries have occurred due to the mistreatment of captive elephants.
Treating elephants with this degree of disrespect could result in physical injury to both elephants and humans, and should be stopped immediately. We, the undersigned, demand that all elephant shows at the Tianjin Zoo be cancelled, and that the two performing elephants are relocated to a sanctuary where they may live a more natural life.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ltshears via Creative Commons