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Help Retire Topeka Zoo Elephants to a Sanctuary
  • Petitioned Topeka City Council

This petition was delivered to:

Topeka City Council
Topeka, KS City Manager
Jim Colson
Topeka Zoo Director
Brendan Wiley

Help Retire Topeka Zoo Elephants to a Sanctuary

    1. Ann Wilson
    2. Petition by

      Ann Wilson

      Kihei, HI

Asian elephant Sunda, and African elephant Tembo have spent the majority of their lives at the Topeka Zoo living on less than 3/4 of an acre and in a tiny concrete barn. Winters are especially hard on them, as freezing weather forces them indoors for virtually the entire season. Sunda suffers from painful, chronic foot infections caused by lack of movement and standing on hard surfaces. Both Tembo and Sunda repetitively sway and rock, which are signs of psychological distress.

This zoo has a record of Animal Welfare Act violations going back to 1998 involving elephant care. The zoo currently faces USDA charges for 51 alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including providing "minimally appropriate husbandry" for the elephants and failure to inspect their feet as frequently as necessary.

Animal Outreach of Kansas has been fighting for the last 5 years to send Tembo and Sunda to The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, TN where they would live on hundreds of acres in a large, natural habitat, choose companions of their own species and have year-round access to the outdoors.

These two highly intelligent, social creatures have served the citizens of Topeka for 30+ decades in a void, inadequate environment. They deserve to spend what few years they have left at this amazing sanctuary, which has also graciously offered to pay for all expenses related to transporting the elephants to their sanctuary, as well as excellent life-long care. 

The Topeka Zoo Director, Brendan Wiley, will make his recommendation to the Topeka City Council by mid-October.  It's imperative we let him and the Council know that it's time to do the morally right thing and let these elephants enjoy what few months or years they may have left, in a sanctuary environment.  Please help us retire Tembo & Sunda!  Visit www.elephantfreedom.com for more information.


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 3,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Maurice Grefe NEW YORK, NY
      • 3 months ago

      We should want these animals to be with us forever.

    • Dawn Larsen CHICAGO, IL
      • 3 months ago

      This shameful cruelty has gone on far too long. Do the right thing and release Sunda and Tembo to an elephant sanctuary where they can live the life they deserve to live.

    • Jeanne Brase NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV
      • 7 months ago

      They have no voice, therefore we are speaking for them. This is not a life for these intelligent animals, the Elephants should have that right. Do not exploit for monetary reasons. For these creatures run in groups of their own therefore becoming a family, by having taken them from the freedom that they had was wrong in the first place.

      • 8 months ago

      We know so much now about elephant behavior...LOOK at these animals and read the silent words they are telling you with their actions: RETIRE THEM TO A SANCTUARY NOW!! Stop the selfishness and greed...think about these elephants first and not last.

    • Janet Locke NOVATO, CA
      • 10 months ago

      The world's largest land mammal does not belong in a little barn all winter long. Move Sunda and Tembo to a sanctuary. Asian and African elephants should not be housed together, either.


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