Stop Imprisoning Elephants at Zoo After Bong Su the Elephant Euthanized

Target: Kevin Tanner, Director, Melbourne Zoo

Goal: End the captivity of elephants at the Melbourne Zoo.

An elephant that was held captive for 40 years at the Melbourne Zoo has died due to a degenerative foot and joint disease. Despite concerns that his living conditions were too cramped, the Asiatic bull elephant named Bong Su was forced to spend his days in a concrete exhibit for the purposes of allowing the public to gawk at him. The Melbourne Zoo has stated that Bong Su’s condition had deteriorated to the point that they had no other option but to euthanize him.

Elephant experts and zoo consultants say that Bong Su’s death was entirely preventable and that his arthritic condition was the result of his unnatural living circumstances. Bong Su first showed signs of arthritis in 2005, but concerned observers noted that the elephant had developed severe behavioral problems far earlier. It was known that Bong Su would turn in circles endlessly each night in his barn, walking through his own feces, as a result of his boredom and distress. This constant confined motion may have led to his debilitating condition.

Elephants are intelligent, social creatures that do not do well in captivity, and it is time that they are removed from all zoo exhibits. Sign this petition to demand that the Melbourne Zoo put an end to their elephant program and transfer all remaining elephants to a wildlife sanctuary so they can live out the rest of their lives with the dignity and space they need.


Dear Mr. Tanner,

The untimely death of an elephant kept at your zoo named Bong Su was a preventable tragedy. He had shown signs of distress for years as a result of his inadequate living conditions, as shown by his repetitive pacing that could have led to his crippling arthritis. This behavior shows that Bong Su was depressed, bored and stressed as a result of being forced into a cramped and unnatural living environment.

Elephants cannot be humanely kept in zoos, as they require far more space and opportunities for social interaction with their own kind than captive conditions can realistically provide. That is why I am calling on you to put an end to your zoo’s elephant program and ensure that all remaining elephants are transferred to a more humane wildlife sanctuary.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Andy Mitchell

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  1. Gene Sengstake says:

    Zoos are inhumane concoctions of the human mind. There are a lot of bogus reasons put forth by zoo operators as to why they should exist – but few in reality – have any legitimacy. Just because we are destroying their homes and habitat is no reason to imprison any animal just to “save” it from extinction for reintroduction at a later date – to what? – a “better” zoo? Zoos make money – and what more ingenious way than to play on human emotions – especially those of children – to see “all the cute animals” in one place. They look so happy. Well – people need a real world education on how the world works – or perhaps I need to say “should” work – – –

  2. Catherine Jenereaux says:

    Zoos like a black and white TVs have no place on this earth. Through technology people can see all kinds of wildlife in natural habitat. Using animals for entertainment or money making speaks to the lack of conscience. The fact that Bong Su was in what was deemed a world class zoo lets you truly understand how poor the care is. They don’t have enough money to give these animals natural habitats instead they are in a concrete jungle. Get Real.

  3. Cynthia Pisarcik says:

    Zoos need not exist, children as well as adults can learn about animals from books !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Let these beautiful animals (ALL ANIMALS )live their lives as they should, in their own environment !

    • The animals need sanctuaries with rangers to protect them, where they can wander and be happy – please, those with money and influence, help the elephants

  4. I thought Australia is more together – seems I am wrong.
    Why was this poor creature not sent to a sanctuary?
    Please do so in future!

    I am certain that Mr. Bob Barker, friend of many rescued elephants would help with funding to get them to a reputable sanctuary!

  5. Zoos should not exist anymore. Animals are not here for our entertainment. there is no way that a zoo can house large animals such as majestic elephants in a humane way. The Melbourne Zoo should be investigated for cruelty towards Bong Su if the poor elephant suffered from arthritis and deteriorated as described.

  6. GEN AGUSTSSON says:


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