Shut Down Miserable Elephant Prison at Buffalo Zoo

Shut Down Miserable Elephant Prison at Buffalo Zoo

Living conditions at New York's Buffalo Zoo remain a daily challenge for Asian elephants Supara and Jothi. The two isolated female elephants are forced to endure long, brutally cold winters. ​​The new CEO and President of the Buffalo Zoo has asked for the community's thoughts on what's best for the animals. We must act now to free Supara and Jothi from their miserable cells!

Buffalo Zoo was In Defense of Animals' #6 worst zoo on our most recent Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants in North America List.The extreme cold over the long winters means months slowly crawl by for the elephants without them benefiting from outside exercise. They are forced to remain behind bars, while standing on hard surfaces that harm their feet and joints, a noted cause of captivity-related pain, illness, and early mortality in elephants. Video footage captured in Buffalo Zoo's barn reveals abnormal behavior, including both elephants swaying repeatedly while standing in place on the same spots over extended periods of time. This persistently repetitive motion, known as "stereotyped behavior," indicates intense physical and psychological stress and poor welfare in an exceptionally confined and unnatural environment.

Despite reported renovations, the Zoo's elephant enclosure remains a miserable prison, complete with bars. In a recent article, the Zoo's new CEO and President, Norah Fletchall, was asked about the outdated elephant exhibit at Buffalo Zoo. It was stated that, “The elephant house is often criticized and Fletchall is aware of it. She was asked what her plan might be to address it.”

We have a solution for Ms. Fletchall: Send the elephants immediately to a certified elephant sanctuary where Supara and Jothi can defrost and have room to roam.

These two females will fare optimally if they are moved quickly and together. Archaic cold-weather elephant exhibits are finally being recognized as intolerable for elephants, as evidenced by the Detroit Zoo and the Toronto Zoo each closing their elephant exhibits and sending the elephants to certified sanctuaries where they now thrive.

What YOU Can Do

Please call and write to the new President and CEO of the Buffalo Zoo asking her to please retire Jothi and Supara to a certified elephant sanctuary immediately!

1) Please make a call to Ms. Norah Fletchall:

716-837-3900 – Press extension 144 (to speak to her or to leave a message)

You can simply make a polite request to send both elephants – together – to a certified elephant sanctuary immediately.

2) Personalize and send our letter, by filling out the form on this page, to email your comments to the Buffalo Zoo.




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