Justice for World’s Loneliest Elephant, Now Dead

Target: Hidemasa Hori, Deputy Director and General Curator at Inokashira Park Zoo

Goal: Ensure that more innocent animals are not allowed to languish and die in isolation.

An elephant named Hanako has died after living a life of isolation with no mental stimulation or enrichment, which is vital to the lives of elephants. Hanako was dubbed by activists as “the world’s loneliest elephant” because she was kept alone in a concrete enclosure for her entire life.

Hanako lived at Tokyo’s Inokashira Park Zoo in a small cement enclosure that had no toys, plants or other elephants. Elephants are highly intelligent, social and emotional animals that form close bonds with each other in the wild. Hanako never received her chance at a fulfilling life, and the zoo is to blame for allowing her to live in such horrendous conditions.

Activists petitioned to have Hanako moved to an elephant sanctuary and some even raised money to add some greenery and other improvements to Hanako’s enclosure. Hanako passed away before she was able to enjoy any semblance of a normal life.

This beautiful creature should not have lived out her life this way. Hold zoo officials responsible and demand they never allow another animal to live this way again.


Dear Director Hori,

Under your supervision, an elephant named Hanako lived a lonely life in a barren cement enclosure with no toys, no plants, no friends and no chance at a happy life. There’s absolutely no reason that this animal should have been kept in such a cruel environment. It shouldn’t have taken thousands of people signing petitions and raising money to improve the life of Hanako.

Now she’s dead and her chance of any happiness in her life is completely gone. She died as “the loneliest elephant in the world” and it’s your fault. I demand that you never allow another animal to live under these conditions again and do everything in your power to ensure the animals in your zoo live happy lives with the stimulation and habitats they need.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Yu Morita

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  1. I hope we can wake up and place wild animals in a sanctuary. How shameful we are to have tortured this poor elephant. How sad and we lie and say we are concerned for animals. Sad pathetic death for NO reason but greed and stupidity.

  2. Torah Wolf Torah Wolf says:

    This zoo should be fined & shut down for good! It makes me sick & very angry to see how they neglect these poor animals.. there should be a full investigation.

  3. That is so cruel. People need to stop this stuff from happening by whatever means necessary.

  4. I’m shocked to see such gross negligence from a country like Japan. He should be fired, that cement prison destroyed and proper not to mention humane treatment of all animals. You are responsible for their well-being, considering you make money from them, and have kept them from their proper home, so do the right thing!!! That enclosure was the equivalent of a death sentence of solitary confinement worthy of pedophiles, not a poor, innocent and defenseless majestic animal! SHAME!!!

  5. Hidemasa Hori, Deputy Director and General Curator at Inokashira Park Zoo: Here is some more free publicity for your country – You knew very well that Hanako was very sick and lonely and you didn’t do anything to improve his well-being. You know that Hanako died after living a life of isolation with no mental stimulation or enrichment, which is vital to the lives of elephants. HOPEFULLY HE DID NOT IN VAIN. CLOSE THIS BARBARIC INOKASHIRA ABUSEMENT PARK ZOO SO THAT NO OTHER ANIMALS WILL EVER HAVE TO ENDURE THE PAIN THAT YOU ALLOW HANOKO FEEL IN THE NAME OF GREED.

  6. Susan Vaughn says:

    24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 12 months, year after year, after year, after year in virtual solidary confinement until you die. When did you go insane because you surely did and any social scientient being would too. I pray for the people responsible to die extremely slow and excruciating deaths. Maybe a paralizing stroke would be better, a stroke which does not allow you to speak or communicate with others in any way. Then they might begin to realize all a little of the torture this creature endured.

  7. Beth Nordmeyer says:

    Hope they are happy knowing the elephant suffered its whole life. NO
    MORE ELEPHANTS! Zoo should be shut down

  8. 69-year-old Hanako who yielded her breath on May 26, 2016 is officially the last elephant at Inokashira Zoo where this public zoo is in the neighborhood of Tokyo and is governed by Japan authorities. Please dont leave negative messages which would cause Inokashira Zoo further bother given that the fact no more eleohants will be taken into the small scale zoo

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