While the 39-year-old elephant Lammie languishes alone after the death of her partner, Kinkel, experts express their concern for her wellness and call for her immediate release to a respectable sanctuary.
It is renowned how the death of an individual can have a large impact on elephant family members. This can be even more traumatic in the absence of the traditional healing structure of the elephant community, as in the case of a lonely captive exemplar.
Worryingly, the Johannesburg Zoo has confirmed a plan to acquire another cow to keep Lammie company, but animal welfare and elephant experts have objected to this option, highlighting the suffering of elephants in captivity and opposing to this solution. There is a worldwide trend moving away from keeping elephants in captivity, fact which led many major zoos to shut down their elephant displays.
In addition, no conservation value has been ascribed to captive elephants breeding programmes, due to high infant mortality rates, deseases and notably shorter life spans.
The lone elephant should be released into a wild reserve where she can roam free and bond with a herd.
An important organization in South Africa has already offered to cover all the costs of Lammie's relocation into a semi-wild facility which does not support human-elephant interaction and where the elephant can finally express her natural behaviour.
We request the Johannesburg City Council to review recommendations from the welfare organizations and, together with the Zoo, to urgently take a final decision towards Lammie's relocation and to authorize her release to a sanctuary where she can finally unite with other female elephants of different ages in a herd and family structure that is essential to an elephant's social well-being.
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION TO FREE LAMMIE THE LONELY ELEPHANT