Garland, TX. Partly cloudy with a little wind.
A bit more on elephant conservation. Elephants have been described by some researchers as charismatic megafauna, large animals about whom everybody has an opinion. The fact that Save The Elephants bumper stickers don’t adorn cars the way that Save The whales decals once did probably speaks to a few simple facts. It was much easier to save the whales. Whales didn’t compete for space with an ever growing human population. Whales never destroy crops. Whales aren’t killed of by draughts the way that African elephants are. And it’s very hard to poach whales. Saving elephants doesn’t just mean protecting them in ever smaller wildlands, many conservationists would suggest that it also means maintaining a genetically viable captive population supporting reproductive conservation efforts. It isn’t easy to reproduce elephants, it takes an enormous amount of work.
Ironically a few organizations claiming to represent animal lovers actually pose a threat to elephant conservation efforts. The philosophical ideology behind the animal rights movement opposes captive reproduction in zoos circuses and elsewhere as a conservation tool. Better a species should become extinct in the wild than bred in captivity, animal liberation says
. Lacking a shred of scientifically valid evidence to support their position, rights groups seek to stop conservation efforts through legislative action, creating humane care standards predicated on the behavior of animals in the wild with large appetites and limited forage possibilities. In California the State Assembly is considering a Bill AB 3027 with requirements that even the world class San Diego Zoo could not meet. One observer Megan Sloan has written: This Bill sounds good at first glance... To the non-animal professional.
Almost every person who has PERSONALLY worked with elephants agrees that this bill is preposterous, resulting in California facilities housing elephants, having to ship the animals to other locations.
Elephants in the wild do travel great distances, 50 miles or more in search of food/water. But in captivity they are provided these things, and do not have to search for them. If an elephant in captivity has 50 acres to himself, he will hang out where the food is, whether he has 50 acres or 1 acre.
If this bill passes, it will result in no captive elephants in California. Seeing an animal up close and personal garners respect and visitors always learn from something they can stand next too, even touch. How are we (Zookeepers, Animal Trainers, Educators), supposed to share the plight of the Elephant if we can't even show people one?!
This bill, if passed, would just be a foot in the door for people, who are not knowledgeable about Elephants/Animals or Education, To Ban all animals from being in captivity? What’s next? The Giraffe, Hippo, Lion?
As I'm sure you already know, California is home to 2 of the best Zoological facilities in the WORLD. The San Diego Zoo and The San Diego Wild Animal Park. These 2 facilities have done so much for the world of conservation for all animals, just not Elephants. The zoo's elephant enclosure is about 1 acre, and the animal park has 3 acres. Expanding is usually not an option, as property is extremely costly, then building the proper facilities as well. These 2 world famous zoos would have to ship their elephants out! And that would be incredibly detrimental to the Conservation. .
Long Story Short...
NO ON AB 3027!!
Maybe folks have forgotten that the California Condor, a symbol of the State was saved from extinction through captive breeding. When the Committee
in California meets on April 25th animal liberation activists want them to forget about the role that zoos and circuses and private facilities play in conservation. They want them to forget conservation and species survival altogether. Animal liberation/animal rights groups are asking politicians to embrace pseudo science creating the very real possibility that elephants will move another step closer to extinction. That's tragic.
Operating a circus where a portion of the money from every ticket we sell goes directly to elephant conservation, anti-conservation efforts make us very sad.