October 11th, 2010 by Nicole Meyer
On September 21 Manyula, the only elephant held at El Salvador’s Parque Zoológico Nacional de San Salvador, died at age 59 from kidney failure. She had lived in the zoo for almost her entire life, having been abducted from her family in India as a baby, and died without ever knowing the companionship and comfort of another elephant again.
Manyula arrived at the zoo in 1955, where she was kept in a tiny enclosure. Elephants naturally live in large family groups, in which female offspring remain with their mothers for life, yet Manyula spent her life entirely alone.
Though deprived of all that was natural to her, Manyula was a national icon, beloved by the people of El Salvador, hundreds of whom turned out for her burial at the zoo.
Now, the El Salvador Ministry of Culture is actively searching for another elephant to replace Manyula. You read that right: one elephant. According to an article in La Prensa, the agency is receiving proposals from various countries, including the U.S. Georgina Hernandez, director of cultural development, even claims to have been in touch with someone in Texas!
Please help IDA convey the message to Salvadoran officials that the zoo should not hold elephants at all, and that it should instead use its resources to improve the welfare of other animals at the zoo and to pursue its mission of preserving and protecting native species who are threatened with extinction.
Please click here to send an email to Dr. Héctor Samour, Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, the agency that oversees the Parque Zoológico Nacional de San Salvador, and to San Salvador Mayor Norman Quijano, urging an end to the display of elephants at the zoo.
By taking action you can ensure that another elephant is not subject to a lifetime of physical, social and mental deprivation at the Parque Zoológico Nacional de San Salvador.