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Urge Roger Williams Park Zoo to Give Up Bullhooks

Urge Roger Williams Park Zoo to Give Up Bullhooks

This alert is no longer active, but here for reference. Animals still need your help.

Using a weapon on a captive elephant is blatantly cruel. Unfortunately, this harsh treatment is simply business as usual for one New England zoo. Please urge Roger Williams Park Zoo to stop using bullhooks and to close down its elephant exhibit once and for all.

At the beginning of January, we released our respected list of the Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants in North America. Roger Williams Park Zoo, located in Providence, Rhode Island, has landed on the number 5 spot, primarily due to its use of, and advocacy for, weapons known as bullhooks.

Bullhooks are sharp instruments which can be jabbed into elephants’ most sensitive places to force them to obey human commands. Bullhook weapons are insidious because they can inflict pain without causing visible injury – therefore intimidating the large, intelligent animals with physical harm while avoiding upsetting zoo attendees. The psychological scars these weapons can leave are also hidden from the public and cause some elephants to respond out of fear merely at the sight of one.

The Zoo’s public statements have also revealed troubling attitudes toward elephants. Jann Warmbold, Elephant Manager at Roger Williams Park Zoo, claims the management of elephants involves “outsmarting” them. This claim is not only insulting to elephant intelligence, it is inaccurate: at Roger William Park Zoo, the elephants are physically and psychologically dominated, not outsmarted. Another statement regarding the Zoo’s use of bullhooks alludes to elephants becoming “upset,” leading us to ask why the Zoo is permitted to upset elephants in the first place. 

What YOU Can Do:

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