The NSPCA was made aware that the Johannesburg Zoo is bringing in another elephant in the immediate future. This decision has been made following the death of one of their elephants, Kinkel, last year – leaving their remaining elephant alone.
The captive environment for elephants at any zoo, including the Johannesburg Zoo, is detrimental to any elephant’s well-being. The NSPCA has addressed a legal communication to the Johannesburg Zoo, informing them that if they are to move forward with obtaining another elephant, the NSPCA would launch an application in the High Court to interdict such action.
The NSPCA believe that moving the remaining elephant, Lammie, to an approved sanctuary would be far more beneficial for her welfare and would end the cycle of more elephants being doomed to a life of captivity. “It is impossible to fulfill the basic five freedoms for elephants in captivity, from environmental requirements to social needs – a life in this zoo that is conducive to the elephants’ welfare is unattainable and it would be completely irresponsible of the Johannesburg Zoo to continue to deprive elephants of a good life” explained Karen Trendler, NSPCA Trade & Trafficking Portfolio Manager.
International standards outline the need for replicating the physical and social norms of elephants to ensure that their welfare is cared for as far as possible in captivity, experts have said that captive elephants should be kept in social groups of no less than four elephants – something the Johannesburg Zoo is not equipped for.