Demand Sanctuary for Belle and Robin!
We are thrilled to share some wonderful news: Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, South Carolina has essentially admitted that its facility is inadequate and announced that it will be closing the doors of its elephant exhibit!
Our team of dedicated elephant campaigners recognized the deficiencies at Riverbanks and exposed the Zoo as the Number 10 Worst Zoo for Elephants in North America in 2017. Two elephants died there within six months of one another. Petunia was euthanized at age 44 in December of 2016 after she was found in her exhibit unable to stand. 37-year-old Penny died at the Zoo in May 2017. We marked the double tragedy by shaming the Zoo on our annual list of the 10 Worst Zoos... and finally, we have some good news for the elephants imprisoned there.
Two elephants now remain at Riverbanks Zoo: Belle and Robin.
The Zoo has not said what will happen to Belle and Robin, but with your support, we are demanding that they be retired to an accredited sanctuary.
We are at a critical juncture for these majestic, intelligent and social animals. Robin is 48, Belle is 37 – how much longer can they endure the unnatural and cruel conditions of zoo captivity?
Close your eyes and imagine, just for a moment, a life of near constant pain and suffering…
Severe arthritis in your legs and feet has nearly crippled you to the point you can no longer stand on your own. But you’re young – you should be in the prime of your life! Instead, you are constantly tortured by chronic and painful conditions that would normally only be associated with old age.
This is the sad reality for elephants held captive in zoos and why In Defense of Animals is committed to ending elephant captivity!
It’s no secret; inadequate conditions in zoos artificially shorten elephants' lifespans by inducing problems normally associated with old age. Lack of movement in small exhibits and standing on hard surfaces like concrete causes chronic and severe arthritis and often lethal foot infections in elephants. These conditions are the leading reasons for euthanizing elephants incarcerated in zoos.
While we are overjoyed at the Zoo’s announcement, there is still a lot of hard work to be done to save Belle and Robin. We MUST keep the pressure on Riverbanks Zoo! We MUST ensure that Belle and Robin are retired to an accredited sanctuary where they can finally thrive in a more natural environment.
We hope that you will consider a lifesaving gift for elephants today. Your support can mean the difference between life in a sanctuary or further years of crippling decline behind the bars of another inadequate zoo for Belle and Robin.
Thank you for caring!