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Free "CAN" the Elephant
The 2011 civil war in Africa’s Ivory Coast was horrifying for the nation’s people, and it proved even worse for the animals at its largest zoo, Abidjan Zoo. More than a quarter of the animals died of starvation. But one beautiful elephant managed to survive: CAN, one of the few forest elephants ever bred in captivity, overcame impossible odds. She, however, is wasting away before our eyes. We must help her. CAN has been living in bitter isolation since 2000, when all the zoo’s other elephants died. Female elephants have an intense need for close companionship. One of the elephants who died was CAN’s mother. Mother and daughter elephants never leave each other’s sides, so the heartbreak from this alone was extremely damaging to CAN. She lives in a small enclosure, far too tiny for her to get adequate exercise. Because of this, CAN is suffering from health problems, including arthritis. She also has chronic eye infections, which place her at risk of blindness. Mr. Samouka Kane, Director of the Abidjan Zoo, and his staff are to be respected, for they have endured much and tried their hardest to provide for the animals. But reports from those on the ground indicate that the zoo is unsustainable. For this reason, it is time to release CAN, one of the only surviving forest elephants bred in captivity, to a sanctuary to live out her days in freedom. Please ask Mr. Samouka Kane to release CAN so we can take her to a safe, natural environment with other elephants.