In November, four elephant calves were caught from the wild, removed from their mothers and family group and exported from Zimbabwe to China. These elephant babies were sent to two zoos in China, Taiyuan Zoo in northern China and Xinjiang Safari Park in north-west China.
Sadly one baby has already died at Taiyuan Zoo, and the surviving male calf is very sick. The photos and video footage we have seen are very distressing; this baby is physically sick and given his condition and environment, suffering psychological distress. Elephant experts and vets around the world have expressed concern that he is very underweight, his skin is covered in marks and sores and the swelling under his belly needs urgent attention. He is in need of immediate veterinary care, but so far the zoo has refused all offers of help.
The conditions in Taiyuan Zoo are wholly unacceptable for keeping elephants. Indeed even modern zoos following the most up-to-date standards are unable to provide for all the physical, psychological and social needs of these large, socially complex, intelligent animals.
Here is some video footage of the sick baby elephant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pR0aVFdq7g&feature=youtu.be
*WARNING* CONTAINS DISTRESSING FOOTAGE
Posted: 20 February 2013 (Updated: 26 August 2015)