It was recently disclosed that the Namibian Government auctioned off 57 elephants caught from the wild, with the intention to export 42 of them to foreign zoos.
With the widespread awareness about the cruelty of keeping wild elephants in captivity, this news is both shocking and tragic.
Elephant expert and President of Humane Society International, Jeff Flocken stated, “African elephants are intelligent, sentient animals with highly developed emotional complexity, and strong social and family bonds that last a lifetime. It is unconscionable cruelty to subject these animals to brutal and traumatic capture, separating them from their families, and condemning them to lifelong captivity for the sake of human amusement.”
Recall that in 2016, 18 elephants were captured in the Kingdom of Swaziland, only to be shipped to three zoos in the US, an event that was roundly condemned by advocates worldwide. And around that time, the Ringling Bros Circus began the process of retiring their elephants. So, there was a feeling of optimism that perhaps things were looking up for elephants in the wild. Unfortunately, this news from Namibia shatters those dreams, as Lori describes.
Zoos often justify keeping elephants in captivity by claiming it promotes conservation of elephants in the wild. Lori explains how this is an utter fallacy.
Lori then broadens her discussion to criticize most contemporary zoos as extremely cruel to their confined animals and failing in their stated “missions” of education and conservation. Lori advocates wild animal sanctuaries as an alternative and supports efforts to strictly enforce the terms of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Wild Fauna and Fauna (CITES).
Peter then welcomes attorney Mark Momjian to discuss the growing use of dogs in courtrooms in a support capacity for witnesses giving testimony. Pennsylvania is the latest state to advance the use of specially trained dogs in court, in selected cases. This is a rapidly evolving area of law. To conclude, join Peter to test your animal knowledge as Lori presents another tortuous and revealing pop quiz.