Release Asha the Elephant from Solitary Confinement


Target: Karl Mogensen, Owner of Natural Bridge Zoo

Goal: Release zoo’s mistreated elephant to the care of an elephant sanctuary

Asha the elephant lives at the Natural Bridge Zoo in Virginia and has spent nearly a decade without the companionship of other elephants and without the treatment she deserves. Asha should be able to live out her days in an elephant sanctuary where she can have companionship and humane treatment.

Animal rights group In Defense of Animals (IDA) listed the Natural Bridge Zoo as the worst zoo for elephants in 2014 based on its horrendous treatment of Asha. According to IDA, patrons of the zoo witnessed Asha being beaten with a bull hook on numerous occasions, once with the hook in her mouth.

The United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) even cited the zoo for its abuse of Asha in 2007, fining the zoo $10,000 for its poor animal care. The Natural Bridge Zoo was inspected 15 times under the Animal Welfare Act between December 2012 and January 2015, according to the USDA. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) lodged at least six complaints against the zoo between July 2013 and December 2014, with allegations ranging from improper housing for Asha to starving its bears to artificially induce hibernation.

In addition to Asha’s poor treatment, she is the zoo’s only elephant and has been for almost 10 years. Elephants are highly social animals with complex family structures. To hold an elephant captive without any members of its kind to keep it company is tantamount to solitary confinement, which would be considered torture if arbitrarily enforced on a human.

Asha has spent too much time already in such horrid conditions. She deserves to be with members of her kind and the many abuses visited her must end. Sign this petition demanding Asha be released into the care of an elephant sanctuary.


Dear Mr. Mogensen,

PETA has lodged multiple complaints against the Natural Bridge Zoo and In Defense of Animals has placed it at the top of its list of the 10 worst zoos for elephants. The USDA has conducted multiple inspections and the zoo has incurred fines for poor animal care. Still, complaints about the treatment of the zoo’s animals, and Asha the elephant in particular, are continually directed at the Natural Bridge Zoo.

Patrons and activists have witnessed the heavy, and inappropriate, use of bull hooks in Asha’s training. She remains the only elephant at the zoo, in exile from her kind, even though it is well known that elephants are highly social and require interaction with other elephants to lead full lives.

I urge you to release Asha to the care of an elephant sanctuary to ensure her needs are fully met.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Christoph via Pixabay

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  1. For the sake of justice get this poor elephant out and allow her to have freedom to roam in acreage, along with Elephants of her kind, this is the very lease that must be done, I will NEVER NEVER know why people go to zoo’s if you really want to see a wild animal then see it in its own environment in the wild showing natural behaviour, the joy of seeing an animal which is free is the best feeling ever, even if you have to save up to do it. Zoo’s are just money making businesses, they preach that they are playing a part in protecting animals from extinction, along with education, all lies they put very little back into the welfare of the wild, maybe the odd plant or lizard, these poor animals spent their lives in misery, and you the public are encouraging this by going to zoo’s, sadly it’s humans that are causing the problems, devastation and deforestation of habitat in the wild, killing & poaching for gain. There should be tougher protection and punishment for perpetrators of animal abuse everywhere, until that happens animals will die in the wild, which is devastating, but maybe the public would fight harder for these animals and for their protection if they were unable to see wild animals in zoo’s, animals may live slightly longer in zoo’s but to spend a life time in cages, small enclosures, trapped, bored, isolated from animals of their kind, sometimes abused ask yourself what would you prefer this life or a shorter life of freedom.

  2. W. Cimicata says:

    Free beautiful, majestic Asha from a lifetime of captivity to Sanctuary!
    For crying out loud, it’s 2015!!

  3. WHAT COUNTRY SO WE DON’T TRAVEL OR VACATION THERE! We need to ALERT the TRAVEL AGENCIES, know one wants to travel to this sick cruel country, there’s other laces to go, PEOPLE TRAVEL TO COUNTRIES WHERE “ALL” ANIMALS ARE LOVED AND TREATED AS ONE OF THEIR OWN!


    • Asha the african Elephant is located at Natural Bridge In Virginia. A state in the United States of America. The USDA is in charge of licenses for zoos.

  4. Mariannina Cordano says:

    No more captivity !!!


  6. caryl sawyer says:

    Totally useless to sign this, as the entire family makes their $$$ from their numerous animal abuse facilities.

    This is yet one more case of Federal employees and Vilsack not doing their jobs.

    Just send more tax dollars to Vilsack and his do-nothings!

  7. How come there aren’t more controls and this type of situation occurs at all, in the first place?

  8. Catherine Alquier says:

    At least give to this intelligent animal the good fortune to finish his days with others animals of his own race. Elephants like to live in their community.
    Please have some kindness for him.

  9. Catherine Alquier says:

    Please be kind with this elephant : he has to finish his days with others.

  10. Set the elephant FREE. I’m dead against any form of cruelty towards that poor elephant or any animal. I’m a big animal lover & hate abuse & you’re abusing the elephant.

  11. Nelly Scorbiac says:

    Bien sûr il faut sauver Asha et apparamment plein d’autres animaux dans ce zoo.. C’est le problème: on tolère trop de maltraitance dans les zoos et les animaux ne sont pas protégés. L’arsenal juridique pour cela est insuffisant et c’est une honte ! Il faut faire bouger tout ça et dans tous les pays !!!

  12. Do the RIGHT thing PLEASE !!!!!!!!! Help this helpless elephant !!!!!!!!!



  14. Curtis Caldwell says:

    Asha needs a better life. She is kept alone in deplorable conditions. The elephant should be in a sanctuary, not the worst zoo for elephants in the us.

  15. Raymond Lee says:

    please do the humane thing let her go

  16. bernadette harrow says:

    Please, please release Asha, she has being imprisoned and treated so cruelly for far too many years. It is her time to be free. Show some human compassion and humanity! Free ASHA!

  17. Lisa Cockrell says:

    Please shut down your “zoo”. Please let other people care for the animals you have abused. Then you please throw yourself into one of your own cages where patrons can abuse you and cut you off from your family.

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