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Elephants in the U.K. - ethical?

(57 Posts)
Hiphopopotamus Fri 12-Apr-19 18:29:51

Sort of following on from the bitten by a lion thread.

AIBU to think there’s an ethical way to see elephants in the U.K.?

Elephants are my absolute favourite animal and I’d love to see them in the wild one day. However I currently don’t have that kind of money. Are there any ethical ways to see them in the U.K.? I hate the idea of zoos and places that keep animals for entertainment when they should be in the wild - but are there any proper sanctuaries or places that will release them back to the wild? It’s so hard to read between the lines though as all zoos and places talk about al the good they do. So does anyone know if there is a way I can see elephants in the U.K. with a clear conscience?

NicoAndTheNiners Fri 12-Apr-19 18:32:54

Whipsnade would probably be the best? Not that I've ever been but it's a safari type park rather than a zoo so they have more space I guess?

I believe London zoo no longer have elephants due to not enough space and they went to whipsnade instead. As a child I helped to weigh the elephants at London zoo and went in the enclosure with them.....would be a health and safety no no these days I guess.

Grumpbum123 Fri 12-Apr-19 18:33:52

Longleat ot Paignton zoo

Boopeedoop Fri 12-Apr-19 18:36:47

Whipsnade is lovely. Lots of room for them.

Veterinari Fri 12-Apr-19 18:42:47

Whipsnade is lovely. Lots of room for them

It’s not just about space. For years whipsnade kept elephants in ‘free contact’ requiring punishment training and the use of ankuses.

Hiphopopotamus Fri 12-Apr-19 18:44:36

I’m sure they’re kept well at somewhere like Whipsnade with room and everything. I suppose I’m thinking more of why they are there instead of in their natural habitat. Is it just for our entertainment? I just couldn’t enjoy seeing them if they were only there for me to look at!

username8000 Fri 12-Apr-19 18:46:33

Blair Drummond Safari Park in Stirling has elephants

bridgetreilly Fri 12-Apr-19 18:47:41

I just couldn’t enjoy seeing them if they were only there for me to look at!

In that case, I think the ethical thing to do is not go and look at them. If people did not visit zoos or safari parks, then animals would not be kept in such place for that reason. If there are actual scientific reasons for keeping animals in captivity (though why you'd do it so far from their natural habitat I don't know) then they would continue without the tourist gawpers.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 12-Apr-19 18:48:15

Well they are there just to be entertainment. None of them have been rescued from anywhere in the UK these days, unless there are still a few circus elephants still going. They've all been bred in captivity or brought in from other settings.

I'd want to research the organisation that owned them. Are they just a private enterprise out to make money? Do they have links to charities that help elephants in the wild etc etc. As well as the treatment of the animals and the condition they are kept in.

Hollowvictory Fri 12-Apr-19 18:50:13

Longleat has Anne the elephant who was rescued from a circus however she often hides inside.
I don't think UK zoos and safari parks release elephants to the wild 😂😂😂.
Go and see them in the wildd, I did that in South Africa safari. They were quite intimidating

DrWhy Fri 12-Apr-19 18:50:44

Blair Drummond has a single elderly elephant who was rehomed from a zoo in Germany. There’s a notice to say that when she passes away they won’t get any more I believe becuase ideally elephants live in herds and that takes a huge space to accommodate.

Hiphopopotamus Fri 12-Apr-19 18:53:41

I don't think UK zoos and safari parks release elephants to the wild 😂😂😂

No need for all the laughter 🙄 I’m aware they don’t release elephants into the U.K. I meant more whether they have links to animal rescue charities or animals in the wild or whether they just take in elephants that can’t live in the wild

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 12-Apr-19 18:55:19

Blair Drummond Safari Park

Blair Drummond is going grim. I would not recommend bit to anyone who gives the tiniest shit about animal welfare.

cleomummy Fri 12-Apr-19 18:59:15

Noah's ark in Somerset have them. It lost its status as a zoo though so don't know how ethical they are.

BarefootHippieChick Fri 12-Apr-19 19:05:20

I believe Blackpool Zoo now has the best elephant facility in the UK. They have a breeding programme in place to ensure long term survival as elephants are becoming an endangered species.

Far2go46 Fri 12-Apr-19 19:07:02

Depends what they're up to really

Yabbers Fri 12-Apr-19 19:14:08

I hate zoos. I hate what they stand for. I hate they pretend to be about protecting species. What benefit is it to an endangered species to be bred in captivity and only ever exist in an unnatural habitat?

The only zoo I ever visited is one near us who only takes in and cares for animals which have been rescued from other zoos or parks around the world. Their care and attention to the animals is outstanding and they never try and breed or take on only the “popular” animals like penguins and pandas. Each animal has a story, many of which are harrowing to read. Were it not for the zoo, they would be destroyed.

I think keeping animals out of their environment for entertainment is barbaric.

Hollowvictory Fri 12-Apr-19 19:27:36

Noahs ark have been prosecuted and regularly have animal rights protestors outside I would not recommend.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 12-Apr-19 19:59:58

Just looked up Noah's Ark... they are run by Christians who push creationism as part of the theme of the zoo. Another reason to avoid!

NicoAndTheNiners Fri 12-Apr-19 20:00:34

@yabbers is that the Yorkshire one? I know they've rescued the lions and the polar bear which were kept in grim conditions elsewhere and I believe a lot of their other animals came from similar backgrounds. No elephants though.

TapasForTwo Fri 12-Apr-19 20:08:11

YWP are breeding Amur leopards with leopards from other zoos with the intention of releasing them into the wild. They have rescued a lot of animals from grim conditions.

TarragonSauce Fri 12-Apr-19 21:22:49

Possibly the best place would be Howletts in Kent, part of the Aspinall Foundation.
The elephants there have a very large enclosure, about 12 acres I think.
However, although no elephants have been released into the wild they have a solid history of releasing gorillas and have a couple of gorilla communities up and running in Africa.

youngestisapsycho Fri 12-Apr-19 21:30:18

CHester zoo has a large elephant enclosure...

SimonJT Fri 12-Apr-19 21:32:50

I really can’t stand zoos, they’re really cruel.

NicoAndTheNiners Fri 12-Apr-19 21:35:22

I thought the elephant enclosure at Chester was awfully small and felt sorry for them. I think it's the weakest part of Chester zoo. They also have an ongoing problem with young elephants dying there which I appreciate is not their fault and they are ploughing money into researching this condition which is causing the deaths.

But it's been such a problem for Chester that it puts me off.

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