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Tokyo zoo to work on changing living conditions for elephant

15 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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15 Comments
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If someone is seriously interested to help this elephant, a sanctuary in Africa where he can roam free in a large area is far better. Zoos should be banned in any civilized society.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

^ EyeOfTheCat, Why would they return an elephant from Thailand to Africa!?!?! Why would you release an animal that spent over sixty years in captivity into the wild? It would have no idea what to do.

9 ( +9 / -1 )

Yeah, right. What they mean by this is that they'll keep as low a profile as possible until the elephant dies and then say they were doing their best to change living conditions but, "shouganai ne".

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

These changes - keeping the animal comfortable and entertained, making sure she has enough company and doesn't get stressed or lonely, are great changes. So simple, so effective, so easy to do, so late in the day. how many other zoo animals could be better cared for using these simple steps? It makes me want to weep.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It's about time to little to late for that poor old Elephant.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yeah, right. What they mean by this is that they'll keep as low a profile as possible until the elephant dies and then say they were doing their best to change living conditions but, "shouganai ne

why such negativity? the news presents stories in a short and simplistic manner, but that doesn't mean the issues is so easy to solve. in the penultimate paragraph, the zoo curator said that changes might be happening soon. so why not HOPE for the best?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

EyeOfTheCat

Zoos should be banned in any civilized society.

That would result in generations of children, particularly in the most densely populated parts of your civilized society, growing up into adults not having had any direct exposure to wild animals and having little to no appreciation and respect for wildlife. IMO that's far less desirable than having well regulated and maintained zoos and similar educational facilities. Zoos are a necessary evil.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Maria - I agree. Good steps to comfort her in her old age.

And as you said, way, way too late. Why on earth in the 21st C, with the abundance of global information at ones fingertips, let alone common sense, has nothing been done before.

Glass jar mentality.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@smith the changes suggested are minimal so I would be surprised if they weren't implemented, despite the bureaucracy. I would imagine Tokyo doesn't want bad press and the suggested changes seem cheaper than relocating.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

" rubber mats to make her small concrete pen more livable. "

She lives in a small concrete pen? And is happy? Seriously?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

nakanoguy1: "so why not HOPE for the best?"

THERE's the shouganai spirit, nakanoguy! Why not just say or do nothing and simply hope the best result occurs, right? You'd make a good Japanese economist.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

nakanoguy1: "so why not HOPE for the best?"

THERE's the shouganai spirit, nakanoguy!

Hoping for the best is not the same as shouganai. 'Shouganai' means to accept that something is the way it is, with no hope of change. Which means that hoping for change does not fit within 'shouganai'.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I said it before. It's a scandal marching this poor animal for decades before kids and their thoughtless keepers. Down with all zoos. Or put and keep people in them. Then they may realize their cruelty.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Hanako has lived a unique life. It appears that the "powers that be" are serious about taking care of her, as they brought in a significant name in elephant wellness to assess how she's doing. It's unlikely that they'd find anyone else who could give a better assessment of whether she's truly happy.

Apparently, she is! She talks to her keepers, enjoys their affection and offers affection back, and she's healthy for her age. Enrichment is the big question, and that's an attainable goal -- hopefully the publicity of Hanako's case leads to better enrichment (and improvements in enclosures) in zoos across Japan. I think if one zoo in Japan were to really start implementing cutting-edge exhibit design -- including safely housing different species together, overhead trails, and simulating natural environments -- others would have to quickly follow suit to remain viable.

I don't understand the calls to release her to the wild. The heartbreak from leaving her home and her zoo "family" would likely kill her even before her bewilderment at the new surroundings would.

I've struggled a lot with mixed feelings about zoos, but I've seen the conservation and rehabilitation efforts put forth by good zoos. I believe that zoos are an important resource for teaching kids about nature and the importance of conservation, especially urban kids, because most of what they see in their environment is centered around what is efficient, cost-effective, convenient, and/or profitable for humans. Conserving land and discouraging poaching don't necessarily fit into that equation unless we educate people and appeal to their sense of humanity, awkward as that feels to say. I prefer to see zoos take in animals that may have been physically injured by poachers and wouldn't survive in the wild, or that are the children of zoo animals and aren't socialized to behave appropriately in the wild.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Zoos are a necessary evil.

I have thought about this phrase a lot since reading it here. And it is nonsense. No, no they aren't necessary at all, not in the 21st century with TV, DVDs, museums, wildlife parks, travel opportunities and similar alternatives to keeping animals captive in concrete cages.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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