Milwaukee County Zoo: African Elephants Don’t Belong in Wisconsin!

Milwaukee County Zoo: African Elephants Don’t Belong in Wisconsin!

In Defense of Animals first listed the Milwaukee County Zoo on our 2014 Ten Worst Zoos list. We hoped that its two African elephants, Ruth and Brittany, might eventually be sent to a certified sanctuary instead of being forced to live in such an entirely inappropriate climate. Instead, the Zoo announced $44.6 million dollars of exhibit upgrades, of which $15.2 million will go to construction of an expanded elephant and “mixed species” exhibit to meet AZA elephant captivity standards. Tell the Milwaukee County Zoo and the Zoological Society of Milwaukee that Ruth and Brittany don't belong in Milwaukee, and neither do any other elephants!

According to reports, the construction bids for the “Adventure Africa Elephant Exhibit” are already more expensive than officials had anticipated, hence, even more millions of dollars will be sunk into this zoo exhibit, rather than used for real elephant conservation efforts in the wild. “Expansion” sounds favorable, but the reality is that Ruth and Brittany, who have been gawked at, displayed, and exploited all their lives will continue to endure long, cold winters spending much of their lives inside a barn in a cold city zoo, no matter how the expansion takes place. Even worse, more elephants are doomed to join them. 

Milwaukee County officials and the Milwaukee Zoological Society expressed the goal of having the capacity to add five male elephants in what is likely to be an effort to breed future generations of cold, city-dwelling, confined elephants. If Milwaukee Zoo had a real interest in elephant conservation and welfare over ticket sales, it would end its elephant exhibit, and send Ruth and Brittany to a warm weather sanctuary. For all these reasons, Milwaukee County Zoo is currently #9 on our Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants list. Let's get the Zoo off our list, by sending its suffering elephants to sanctuary, and making sure no more elephants end up in frigid Wisconsin!

What You Can Do

Contact the Director of Milwaukee County Zoo, and the President and CEO of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee. Urge them to end their elephant exhibit plans, and send Ruth and Brittany to an accredited warm weather sanctuary.

1) Please make a call to:

Jodi Gibson, President/CEO Zoological Society of Milwaukee Phone (414) 918-6145

SIMPLY and POLITELY say: Milwaukee is too cold for African elephants! I urge you to please halt your elephant exhibit expansion and retire Ruth and Brittany to an accredited sanctuary as soon as possible.

2) Personalize and send our letter, by filling out the form on the right-hand side of this page, to email your comments to the Milwaukee County Zoo Director and the Zoological Society of Milwaukee CEO.

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