Urgent: Send Riverbanks Zoo Elephants to Sanctuary!

Urgent: Send Riverbanks Zoo Elephants to Sanctuary!

On June 19, the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden announced it will close its elephant exhibit! Now we must act urgently to ensure African elephants Belle and Robin do not remain in zoo captivity. Your voice is needed now to urge the Zoo to send Belle and Robin to an accredited sanctuary!

We featured Riverbanks Zoo as our Number 10 Zoo on our 10 Worst Zoo for Elephants in North America in 2017 list after two elephants died within six months of each other, leaving Belle and Robin by themselves. In the wild, elephants live in close-knit family herds – a far cry from the social isolation Belle and Robin have been enduring over the last few years.

While it is excellent news that the Zoo is finding another home for its elephants, Belle and Robin risk being transferred to another zoo where they will be little more than exploited commodities on display to turn a profit. These individuals deserve a chance at the best living conditions possible. Life at an accredited sanctuary would allow Belle and Robin to live more truly as elephants with a social structure and habitat more akin to what they would enjoy in the wild; never again would they face being on public display. 

We must also take this opportunity to urge Riverbanks Zoo to join the over 30 leading zoos in the U.S. that have committed to permanently closing their elephant exhibits. Right now, Riverbanks has left the door open for future elephant breeding. Breeding baby elephants into captivity is never okay, since they will never return to the wild and can do nothing to further conservation or provide any aid to beleaguered wild elephant populations. 

What You Can Do: 

Take action by phone and letter for these long-suffering elephants.

1) Make a call for Belle and Robin. It is difficult for companies to filter phone calls, making it one of the most effective ways to reach decision-makers. 

Call the Riverbanks Zoo at 803-779-8717. 

Press 0 to speak to a receptionist, and either leave a message or speak directly to request that Belle and Robin are sent to a sanctuary and urge permanent closure of Riverbanks’ elephant exhibit. 

2) Send our letter by filling out the form on this page. 

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