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Close Topeka Zoo’s Notoriously Cruel Elephant Exhibit!

Close Topeka Zoo’s Notoriously Cruel Elephant Exhibit!

Topeka Zoo has a long and sordid history of neglecting elephants. Shannon and Sunda suffered and died in heartbreaking conditions - don't let Cora and Tembo be next! Act now to permanently shut down this horrid exhibit and retire Cora and Tembo to an accredited sanctuary!

The Topeka Zoo has appeared on In Defense of Animals’ Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants list eight times and was featured as the number one worst zoo in 2017 due to its indefensible neglect of 35-year-old Shannon, who died a painful, drawn-out death at the facility. Shannon's medical records describe in heartbreaking detail how Topeka Zoo staff recklessly ignored her inability to sleep, lie down and stand comfortably for weeks on end.

In September 2018, 58-year-old Sunda passed away due to captivity-related ailments. Now, only Asian elephant Cora and African elephant Tembo remain at the Zoo - two species that would normally never live together in the wild. They are being forced to endure living in a cramped exhibit situated in a cold climate – conditions which are entirely unnatural and unsuitable for elephants.  

The Zoo has faced citations and fines over the years due to its horrific track record of mistreating elephants. “It is unbelievable that the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the USDA allowed this zoo to keep four elephants in the inadequate cage in which two recently died,” said Judy Carman, co-founder of Animal Outreach of Kansas. Ann Wilson, another co-founder, noted “The Topeka Zoo has been cited numerous times for cruelty and mismanagement leading to injuries and deaths of many animals.”

What You Can Do:

Please call and write to Topeka’s Mayor and City Council members to request the permanent shut down of Topeka Zoo’s elephant exhibit and the relocation of Cora and Tembo to an accredited sanctuary for retirement.

Call Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla: 785-368-3895

You may simply say:

“Please permanently shut down Topeka Zoo’s elephant exhibit and send Cora and Tembo to an accredited sanctuary for permanent retirement.”

Send our letter to Trey Brooks, Executive Assistant to the Mayor and the Topeka City Council by filling out the form on this page.

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