Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Inner City Blues for Susi

Susi in Barcelona zoo

Concerns escalate as situation worsens at Barcelona Zoo

Susi the elephant has a new companion, but now fears grow over the welfare of both elephants.

Despite the international news coverage, concerns raised by internationally respected elephant experts and the ongoing campaigning of animal welfare organisations in the UK and Spain including the Born Free Foundation, Barcelona Zoo has ignored calls to end the keeping of elephants at the inner city zoo.  Susi, the female African elephant, whose poor condition and desperate plight has raised public concern across the world, has now been joined by a second female African elephant, Yo Yo.

Management at Barcelona Zoo claim to have followed the advice of experts, stating that it was their aim to give Susi a companion.  The Zoo has also stated that it is their intention, at some time in the future, to extend the 1,020m2 concrete enclosure, where Susi has resided since 2002 and ensure the concrete is covered in a softer substrate.

The introduction of Yo Yo, however, is not the end of the controversy. Reports received have inferred that Yo Yo could be a carrier of tuberculosis, with reportedly numerous animals in Rioleon, the animal park in Catalunia (Spain) where Yo Yo was originally housed, being inflected by this killer disease which can be passed on to humans.  Furthermore, insider reports have claimed that Yo Yo, perhaps as a result from years in a captive institution, is very aggressive and concerns have been raised as to whether Yo Yo and Susi are compatible as companions in the same enclosure.

Yo Yo arrived in Barcelona Zoo on 6th June 2009 and has, reportedly, since then remained in the underground indoor facility.  It is believed she has not had any access to the outdoor enclosure. Apparently Susi occupies the same indoor facility at night, spending all of the day outdoors in the 1020m2 elephant enclosure, but it is thought the two elephants have yet to be introduced to each other.

Possible concerns as to whether Yo Yo may be carrying disease, and therefore having the potential to infect Susi, has also appeared to have been overlooked by the zoo management.  Barcelona Zoo has not given any official notification as to why Yo Yo remains underground, but our sources reveal that an elephant trainer as been brought in to train Yo Yo, possibly so both elephants can occupy the same enclose without complications.

The Born Free Foundation continues to support our Spanish colleagues, Libera! and FAADA¹ in their campaign to raise awareness about the plight of Susi, and now Yo Yo in Barcelona Zoo.  Please, if you have not already done so, sign the petition and show your support for the campaign, which we hope will result in these two African elephants being rehomed in more tolerable conditions.

For more information contact

¹Fundación para la adopción, apadrinamiento y defensa de los animales

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Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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