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  Zoo elephants are dying young and unhappy
Updated 23 October 2002, 07.54
Mummy elephant with baby play in a zoo pool
Elephants living in European zoos, safari parks and circuses die young and live in bad conditions says a new report.

  Click here for the elephant gallery

The mighty creatures only live half as long as they should do when they are kept in captivity.

Fact File
Asian elephants
Only about 40,000 in world: half are in India
Smaller ears than African ones
Females don't grow tusks
Talk to each other by touch, sound and scent
Young put tip of trunk in an adult's mouth when nervous

The RSPCA are shocked at the study and now want zoos to give up their elephants.

They also want them to treat the ones they have better by giving them more pools, rubbing and scratching posts, mud wallows, and even heated rubber flooring.

The main problems zoo elephants have include:

  • Bad diets
  • Not enough space
  • Inadequate social groups
  • Illness
  • Bad breeding programmes
  • Rough treatment by keepers
There are about 500 elephants in Europe's zoos and circuses at the moment.

  Click here to find out about endangered animals

But the RSPCA say the money needed to keep elephants in captivity could be better spent on protecting them in the wild where they would have more room and healthier lives.

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Watch Becky Jago's reportWatch Becky Jago's report
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More InfoBORDER=0
PicturesPix: Mighty elephant gallery
Find OutEndangered animals guide
ChatTalk about animals!
VoteVote: Zoos - right or wrong?
QuizDon't forget the elephant quiz
ClubChris' circus elephants poem

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Wendy the old elephant dies
London Zoo gives up its elephants

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Comments
Should elephants be kept in zoos?
opening quoteI think that elephants should be in the wild. There should be a wild life zoo where you can see the animals in their habitats.closing quote
Sepand, 12, Greenford
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