Make African Lion Safari do the right thing. #savetheelephants

Make African Lion Safari do the right thing. #savetheelephants

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Miranda Biggs started this petition to African Lion Safari

International Animal Protection Agency, In Defense of Animals, has released its list of the 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants 2020, and not surprisingly, African Lion Safari is listed as the number one worst. Finally. This is the first year African Lion Safari has made their list, but that, by no means, means this is new information. It solely means African Lion Safari has managed to keep themselves under the radar, and has also given IDA a proper amount of time to fully investigate and provide indisputable facts. 

The website for African Lion Safari paints a rosy picture of the elephants in their care. They tell you all about their "Breeding/Conservation Program" and how they are working to keep the endangered Asian elephant population alive and well. They boast about having the most Asian elephants in North America, as if that's a good thing. It's going to be -12 degrees celcius in Cambridge, ON tonight. The climate Asian elephants live in is usually no lower that 20 degrees ce lcius. They thrive in a tropical climate.

The breeding program they brag about is less about conservation and research and all about profit. They currently have a pending sale of two elephants to the Fort Worth Zoo in Fort Worth, TX, coincidentally number two on IDA's list, for $1,000,000 EACH.

Bill 69 in Ontario, the Elephant Protection Act, 2012, specifically states that 'The use of  an electric prod, a bullhook, an ankus, a pole or a similar implement or device to shock, poke, strike, hit, stab, pierce or pinch the skin of an elephant' is prohibited. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums(AZA) issued a directive back in 2012 that required all of their accredited member facilities to switch to protected management contact systems by September 1st, 2014. Although, accredited by CAZA(Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums), African Lion Safari is NOT accredited by AZA, which is seen by most as the gold standard, while many others will tell you CAZA is, which once again, coincidentally has Board members that are made up and funded by the same facilities they are supposed to regulate. The current Secretary/Treasurer is the General Manager of African Lion Safari, Trish Gerth. This should explain why African Lion Safari still uses abusive tools and techniques to handle the elephants in their care, and remains unscathed by CAZA. From IDA's report, "The Safari has access to “animal loan and exchange programs, including the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plan” through its accreditation with Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA). This framework appears to give a green light for AZA-accredited zoos in the U.S. to buy elephants from African Lion Safari, even though it violates the AZA’s requirement of restricted contact — ensuring there is a safety barrier between elephants and humans — and no elephant rides. The AZA is also phasing out bullhooks — weapons designed to control elephants with pain and fear — at member facilities. Because Canada and CAZA allow bullhooks and elephant rides, and do not yet require restricted contact, the AZA-accredited zoos doing business with African Lion Safari are encouraging and subsidizing these clear abuses of elephants.". 

Elephants are incredibly intelligent and emotional mammals. They are communal and family oriented. They mourn for their lost loved ones. They value their families more than most animals, and knowing that, "African Lion Safari has a long history of collusion with zoos in separating females from their tight-knit social groups, often as part of a series of family separations and transfers to other zoos. This “transfer abuse” violates elephants’ social, psychological, and emotional needs and promotes lifelong trauma. In the summer of 2020, Ft. Worth Zoo, the #2 Worst Zoo this year, offered to buy two females from African Lion Safari for $1 million each, plus a $200,000 bonus if one gives birth — the highest known price ever paid for elephants in North America. Emily, age 15, would be separated from Gigi, her six-year-old calf; while Nellie, age eight, would be taken from her mother, Natasha. In the wild, females stay with their families their entire lives.". 

Wild animals, namely elephants, are increasingly being banned from circuses, due to the horrible conditions they live in, and the cruel treatment they endure to be "trained". And again, from the report, "African Lion Safari makes elephant lives even more miserable by forcing them to perform demeaning tricks for tourists and carrying people around on their backs, while handlers stand by with bullhooks. These stresses are possibly what led one elephant to attack a handler who suffered serious injuries in 2019, in full view of nearby children and parents in line for cruel elephant rides. One family reported being traumatized seeing the employee thrown into the air and slammed against a wooden structure. A 14-year-old boy was leading an elephant when she stepped on him and broke his leg in 1995, and a "trainer" was crushed to death in 1989 by a bull elephant."

We cannot wait for the Jane Goodall Act to be heard, and hopefully, passed. We need to put pressure on African Lion Safari now to get these incredible creatures into a proper Sanctuary to live out their lives without being solely used for profit. 

https://www.idausa.org/campaign/elephants/2020worstzoos/?utm_source=website&utm_medium=internal&utm_campaign=twz2021

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