There are currently 52 elephants kept in 12 zoos in the UK.
Elephants are wide-ranging, intelligent and highly social. In the wild, they may travel many miles each day, engaged in active foraging and social interactions in their family groups. In zoos, elephants are kept in relatively small enclosures, mostly in small groups or even alone. They may be afflicted by lameness, obesity and reproductive or behavioural problems as a result of their life in captivity.
In the wild, female elephants remain with their families their whole lives where they form deep bonds. Mother elephants rear their calves alongside grandmothers, sisters, aunts and cousins. In captivity, groupings may be unnatural – often the result of transfers of animals between zoos – while adult males may spend long periods confined alone. It is easy to imagine the stress and lack of control these powerful animals feel.
A zoo is no place for an elephant, particularly in the cold UK climate. This is why Born Free would like UK zoos to be elephant-free. We are calling on the government to take action to phase out elephants from UK zoos.
Can you help us?
Send a letter to the Right Honourable Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, urging him to ban the import of elephants into the UK and to introduce a moratorium on breeding elephants, with the objective of phasing out the keeping of elephants in UK zoos. You don’t have to live in the UK to take part.
Donate today and help Born Free in its campaign against keeping wild animals in captivity.