Tell Pittsburgh Zoo to Nix Cruel Breakup of Elephant Friends

Tell Pittsburgh Zoo to Nix Cruel Breakup of Elephant Friends

We recently revealed Pittsburgh Zoo’s heartbreaking plans to separate a female African elephant named Seeni from her long-time companion of as many as 25 years. Though Wisconsin’s Milwaukee County Zoo is in “no rush” to bring Seeni to its facility, please join us in urging the zoos to nix this cruel plan altogether and send the elephants to sanctuaries instead!

After their families were ruthlessly slaughtered in Botswana, Seeni,Thandi, and Sukiri, were kidnapped from the wild as babies and had lived together since the 1990s. In 2011, the three elephants were shipped to the Pittsburgh Zoo’s International Conservation Center, an African elephant breeding facility in Somerset, Pennsylvania. The trio was first broken up last year when Thandi was sent to a zoo in Quebec, Canada where temperatures regularly drop below freezing. If Seeni is also sent away, Sukiri will be left alone and heartbroken in Pennsylvania. While this inhumane plan has been put on hold, the Pittsburgh Zoo must hear from people who care about animals so this plan is never revived in the future.

The Pittsburgh Zoo has been included on our list of Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants four times. In 2017, the Zoo was listed for impregnating Seeni who produced an unhealthy calf, who was tragically separated from her and euthanized shortly after birth. In 2019, the Pittsburgh Zoo was shamed as the number 1 worst zoo due to Seeni’s planned separation and the decrepit conditions in its elephant exhibit, including peeling paint and concrete floors which cause severe foot problems, which can lead to crippling, lameness, and eventual death. Our investigator also saw elephants engaging in constant pacing and they were visibly frightened by the dogs stationed in close proximity.

What You Can Do:

Please contact the Pittsburgh Zoo and the Milwaukee County Zoo and urge them not to separate Seeni and Sukiri.

1. Call the Pittsburgh Zoo at 412-665-3640. After you dial the number, press 0 to be directed to an operator.

Then, make a call to the Milwaukee County Zoo at (414) 771-3040. After you dial the number, stay on the line until you are transferred to an operator. 

Here’s an example of what you can say:

My name is ________ and I respectfully urge your zoo to terminate any plans which involve separating Seeni and Sukiri, two elephants who have been together for roughly 25 years. Separating them is inhumane and unnecessary.

2) Please send our letter to Barbara Baker, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo and Charles Wikenhauser, Director of Milwaukee County Zoo and by filling out the form on this page.


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