Petition Closed
Petitioning Topeka City Council and 2 others

Help Retire Topeka Zoo Elephants to a Sanctuary


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 for more information.


Letter to
Topeka City Council
Topeka, KS City Manager Jim Colson
Topeka Zoo Director Brendan Wiley
I just signed the following petition addressed to: The City of Topeka (City Manager, City Council) and the Topeka Zoo.

Retire their aging elephants, Tembo & Sunda to The Elephant Sanctuary in TN

These two highly intelligent, social creatures after being taken from the wild and from their families as babies, have served the citizens of Topeka for many decades in a void, inadequate enclosure of less than 3/4 of an acre. They deserve to spend what few years they have left at The Elephant Sanctuary where the weather is classified as sub-tropic and will allow these girls not to be forced indoors on concrete for several months out of the year, which has already contributed to one of the elephants' foot disease problems. Since The Elephant Sanctuary has graciously offered to pay for all the expenses related to transporting the elephants to their sanctuary in TN, as well as excellent life-long care, there is no reason to continue to keep them in this inadequate environment at the Topeka Zoo. The world is watching this situation closely. Please do what you know is morally right and allow these elephants to experience a little bit of freedom for the first time in their lives, before it's too late.



Ann Wilson started this petition with a single signature, and now has 3,279 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.