Massachusetts Zoo Denies Cruelty to Elephants
Monday, January 26, 2015
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. - A New Bedford zoo is again denying claims it abuses its elephants. The Buttonwood Park Zoo is, for the fifth year, on an annual list put out by the animal-rights group In Defense of Animals, or IDA. The group says the zoo is the fourth-worst in North America in its treatment of elephants. It has two females, 56 and 51-years old. The IDA's Toni Frohoff, Ph.D., Elephant & Cetacean Scientist, explains.
"Both Ruth and Emily, the two elephants, suffer from chronic foot disease and arthritis, leading causes of death for elephants living in small, inadequate spaces in zoos," says Dr. Frohoff.
Zoo officials acknowledge one of the elephants suffered frostbite last year when they got out accidentally in wintertime. They say it would be inhumane to move them elsewhere at their advanced ages and they plan to care for Ruth and Emily until they expire and will not house any more elephants.
Buttonwood Park Zoo Director Keith Lovett defends the facility's care.
"These elephants have had a fairly tough life, but I stand by the care we provide at Buttonwood Park Zoo," says Lovett. "We have a very passionate staff, we have a very passionate community, and they would not stand for the type of treatment that is being accused."
Dr. Frohoff says the zoo shouldn't wait to phase out its elephant program.
"Buttonwood Park Zoo has the opportunity to be heroes or villains in this," she says. "They can be heroes if they finally do what's best and end this frigid fiasco of an elephant program that they have in New Bedford."
Dr. Frohoff says zoos keeping elephants, especially in colder North American climates, are guilty of "captivity in the guise of conservation."
"There is nobody who wants to see these elephants moved if they don't have to," she says. "But theses elephants in our top 10 list really deserve a much better life, should they be able to survive the horrible conditions in which they're in."
get more stories like this via email
RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …
ROSLINDALE, Mass. - A new report finds Massachusetts residents would rather repair electronic devices than send them to landfills, but manufacturers …
DENVER-During the COVID health emergency, the federal government made school meals available for free to all students, regardless of their financial …
HELENA, Mont. - COVID-19 is underscoring the importance of ensuring that people's estates are in order, but estate planning can be be tricky for …
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Pandemic fallout still has U.S. states clawing their way back to normalcy, and New Mexico believes its decision to provide more …
CONCORD, N.H. - New polling finds many New Hampshire voters think it's important that wealthy individuals and corporations pay what's described as …
AMARILLO, Texas - The American Farm Bureau Federation hosts more than 100 college level chapters across 35 states, but this is the first time its …
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - As activists mark more than 100 days of protest since the April 21 death of Andrew Brown Junior - killed outside his Elizabeth …