Speak Up for Elephant in Solitary Confinement at Romanian Zoo

Target: Dr. Lesley Dickie, Executive Director of European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA)

Goal: Move Tania, an elephant being kept alone at a Romanian Zoo, to a more appropriate living situation as quickly as possible.

The rules are clear: according to the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), elephants are not to be kept alone. However, Tania, a 37-year-old female elephant living at Romania’s Targu-Mures Zoo, spends her days by herself in a concrete cell. Urge the EAZA to stand up for Tania and grant her the conditions to which she is entitled by law.

Tania’s cell at the Targu-Mures Zoo is indoors and the floor is bare, In Defense of Animals (IDAUSA) reports. She has no interaction whatsoever with other elephants–a grave problem, since elephants are highly social animals. Tania, who apparently also spent 20 years alone at a French zoo prior to being moved to Targu-Mures, is very much affected by her dismal living conditions: she rocks back and forth regularly, an indication that she is in distress.

Zookeepers claim that Tania must be isolated because she does not get along with other elephants. However, the EAZA clearly states that zoos must keep female elephants together in groups. Tania must be allowed the opportunity to interact with other elephants; if she proves incapable of getting along with them, she should be moved to a sanctuary where she can choose how and when to interact with others. Sticking her unceremoniously in a cold, barren cell is not an appropriate course of action.

Tell the EAZA to stand by its own guidelines and stand up for Tania. Sign the petition urging the EAZA to investigate Tania’s situation and take immediate steps to procure better conditions for her.


Dear Dr. Dickie,

There is nothing confusing about the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria’s stance on housing female elephants: they must be kept together in groups. So why is Tania, a 37-year-old female elephant at Romania’s Targu-Mures Zoo, forced to spend her days alone in a barren indoor cell?

Tania is no stranger to ill-treatment; she reportedly spent 20 years living alone in a zoo in France. Her keepers claim that Tania cannot get along with other elephants, but confining Tania all by herself  is not an appropriate solution, either. She shows signs of distress at being separated from others, and quite apart from her isolation, her living conditions are also substandard.

Tania needs the opportunity to interact with other elephants; if this cannot be achieved readily in a zoo setting, then Tania should be moved to a wildlife reserve where she can interact with other elephants at will. I urge you to immediately investigate Tania’s current situation and take steps to correct her grossly inadequate care as quickly as possible.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: paul dickson via Geograph

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  1. Alex Valderana says:

    Just signed. This is a cruel injustice that needs correcting. I’m unfortunately of the opinion that this probably happens more often than we think to many animals worldwide. But if there’s an opportunity to fix this, then I’m taking it.

    • Craig Ihde says:

      How can anyone treat one of God’s most innocent of creatures this way. Those responsible should be ashamed.

  2. Dont take your children to the zoo or circus. it is a barbaric form of entertainment that should have been outlawed years and years ago. this should not be happening to the beautiful precious animals of this world.
    animals were not put on this planet to perform tricks for us.
    its sick that we hunt and kill these beautiful creatures and box them up so we can look at them.

  3. Robin Van Vleet says:

    This is just barbaric! Totally unacceptable!

  4. joan robinson says:

    every one in the world knows what an elephant looks like
    but if they can go to a zoo and be happy looking at an animal in this condition they are truly heartless barbarians,animal cruelty has to stop,most horrific animal abuse seems to have become a sport all over the world, something is very wrong with humans!!!

  5. Maureen Frostick says:

    Please can everybody write polite letters to:

    the European Commissioner for the Environment, who is responsible for implementing and enforcing the EU Zoo Directive. Urge the Commissioner to urgently investigate Tania’s situation at the Targu-Mures Zoo –

    Mr. Janez Potocnik, Commissioner for the Environment
    European Commission
    Environment DG
    B-1049 Brussels

    Email: janez.potocnik@ec.europa.eu

    Also, please ask the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria to take immediate action to alleviate Tania’s suffering, move her to a sanctuary and integrate her with other elephants –

    EAZA Executive Office
    Dr. Lesley Dickie, Executive Director
    c/o Artis Zoo – Amsterdam
    PO Box 20164
    1000 HD Amsterdam
    The Netherlands

    Email: lesley.dickie@eaza.net

    Thank you.

  6. The sad fact is this happens all the time, with various animals. Humans truly are the worst possible plague to happen to the Earth.
    I run a small animal rescue, the amount of rabbits forced to endure similar confinement is unreal. They develop social problems, but in time they learn and grow.

  7. Clare Moir says:

    So sad :,-(

  8. Linda Towell says:

    We all really need to stand up for all abused animals.It is the decent thing to do for these innocent creatures of God!

  9. dejemos de mal tratar a los animales que no haya más sufrimiento para ellos y que la gente entre en conciencia y lo dejen vivir libres…….

  10. Esto es insoportable!!!! Por qué tanta crueldad?? Por qué tanto daño?? Pero es que no se dan cuenta de ello o es que no están preparados para esto??? El bienestar de Tania debe primar por encima de cualquier tipo de interés, personal, empresarial, económico o de cualquier tipo. Por favor, compasión para un ser que se le está castigando y no es libre, su salud está en peligro!!

  11. Eliza Flowers says:

    Please please. Tania and other elephants nee medical care. Please..she is so sad and alone and sick. It’s haertbreaking.

  12. Would you tell us what is the final target number? or how could we realize it?

  13. Deb Denny says:

    Elephants should never be alone. They need family. Let Tania join others of her own kind.

  14. Sylvia Voss says:

    We treat our worst murderous criminals in solitary confinement better than this. What has this innocent creature done to justify her imprisonment neglect and torture.. Romania please release her now she’s not ours to enslave and there is no conceivable circumstances that would warrant this unnecessary INHUMANE INDECENT IMPRISONMENT

  15. Kristin Milner says:

    This is absolutely atrocious. I can’t believe how horrible humans are. Have totally lost faith in humanity, I’m constantly reading about animal abuse everywhere. Something needs to be done for this poor elephant.

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