Retire Lonely Virginia Zoo Elephants


Target: Virginia Zoo Executive Director Greg Bockheim

Goal: Retire two zoo elephants by relocating them to a nearby sanctuary due to the death of their companion.

New standards were passed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that included recommending all elephants be kept in packs of at least three or more due to their highly social nature. Because of this, the Virginia Zoo has announced that they will be finding a new location for their two other elephants, 42 year-old Lisa and 47 year-old Cita, because of their third elephant’s passing in 2011. These elephants deserve to live out the rest of their lives in open space and peaceful sanctitude.

This opportunity may be these animals’ final chance at freedom. Sanctuaries ensure that these girls will be completely out of the public eye and will be able to roam freely on wide open fields. Right now, there is still the possibility that they will be taken by another zoo and put into exposed captivity all over, and possibly in different or worse conditions. The only way to make sure that these elephants are brought out of this cycle is by convincing the zoo’s executive director to ensure their relocation. Tell Greg Bockheim to bring these animals to a sanctuary.


Dear Mr. Bockheim,

I would like to first off my sympathy for the coming loss of your elephants Lisa and Cita. It is always upsetting to lose animals within a community such as zoos and wildlife preserves, and even more so with Monica’s death in 2011. But while these animals are still in your care, you can do one last thing to ensure their happiness and peace for the rest of their lives. Please give these animals to a local sanctuary and not to another zoo, and they will finally be free to live with privacy and freedom to roam.

The Elephant Sanctuary of Tennessee is fairly close by and has an unrestricted 2,700 acres of land for their elephants to roam on. Lisa and Cita would be able to socialize with dozens of elephants just like them, and will experience the same happiness and freedom that would come with being in the wild. Most importantly, sanctuaries are not open to the public, so this could be the first time that these elephants experience privacy. Please do what is best for the animals that you care about and give them to The Elephant Sanctuary.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Bernard Gagnon

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  2. Lisbeth Alvarado Sanchez says:

    Please send this two elephants to a sanctuary. This is the correct and humane thing to do and its what they deserve.

  3. Guillaume LAURENCIN says:

    Be… “human”

  4. Please do the right thing and relocate them to a sanctuary

  5. Send Lisa & Cita to a Sanctuary where they can live happily & comfortably, as they so deserve.

    Keep in mind we OWE these elephants much — they were pulled out of their natural habitats against their wills at some point in their past, brought to a zoo for purposes & needs of HUMANS —

    I emphasize to NOT send them to another zoo BUT to transfer them to a Sanctuary —


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