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In Defense of Animals Releases 2010 'Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants' List

19/01/2011 09:18

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 2010 list of the Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants, released today by In Defense of Animals (IDA), once again exposes the hidden suffering of elephants in zoos, where lack of space, unsuitably cold climates and impoverished social groupings condemn Earth's largest land mammals to lifetimes of deprivation, disease and early death. In its seventh year, the list also features IDA's first recognition of a zoo (Dallas Zoo in Texas) for improvements in elephant welfare and policies that help elephants in need.

"The Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants list is an SOS for suffering elephants and a call for mammoth change," said IDA Elephant Campaign Director Catherine Doyle. "Caging elephants in urban zoo displays is not humane and it is not conservation."

Zoos making the 2010 list are: San Antonio Zoo (Texas), Edmonton Valley Zoo (Canada), Buttonwood Park Zoo (Mass.), Central Florida Zoo (Fla.), Niabi Zoo (Ill.), Topeka Zoo (Kan.), Honolulu Zoo (Hawaii), Wildlife Safari (Ore.), York's Wild Kingdom Zoo (Maine) tied with Southwick's Zoo (Mass.), Pittsburgh Zoo's ICC (Penn.). San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Calif.) earns a dishonorable mention.

IDA tallied the high cost of keeping elephants in zoos: Since 2000, zoos in North America have committed at least $500 million to remodel elephant exhibits, and every year spend close to $20 million to maintain fewer than 300 elephants. To put this in perspective, the entire annual budget for the Kenya Wildlife Service is less than $40 million, and the agency protects more than 30,000 elephants across 20,000 square miles. "You can protect 50 elephants in Kenya for the cost of holding one elephant in a zoo for one year," said Doyle. "Zoos are wasting scarce conservation dollars even as elephants are heading toward extinction."

"It's absurd for zoos to claim to be conserving elephants when those in zoos are suffering and dying prematurely because of inadequate conditions and harmful practices," added Doyle. "The key to elephants' survival is to protect them where they naturally live."

Visit for details on the elephants at each of these zoos, photos, video, and updates on IDA's Hall of Shame inductees, including the Los Angeles Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo (Seattle, Wash.), St. Louis Zoo and Dickerson Park Zoo (Mo.).

SOURCE In Defense of Animals

CONTACT: Catherine Doyle of In Defense of Animals, +1-323-301-5730 or

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