Demand that The Calgary Zoo reconsider the relocation of elephants

  • by: Dan Cole
  • target: Mayor of The City of Calgary (Mr. Nenshi), CEO of The Calgary Zoo (Mr. Clement Lanthier)

The Calgary Zoo has a responsibility to care for and improve the lives of these elephants.

There are options available which do not include relocation from the zoos collection, we do not need to risk the lives of these elephants. We could invest in their future and the future of their species by creating a new environment at the Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre (a space of over 300 acres).

Climate is not the only factor in elephant welfare, and should not be a deciding factor in the fates of these elephants. Calgary climate can actually be better for these elephants than a city with extreme heat.

Relocation to another zoo is risky, elephant transfers and introductions to new herds are high stress, and it is possible that the elephants will not survive it. It is estimated that there are fewer than 35 000 Asian elephants, far too few to risk these individuals

The Calgary Zoo has made significant contributions to elephant conservation, and can continue to do so.  Spike, Swarna, Rani and Kamala are ambassadors for their wild counter-parts.  These zoo residents can help inspire Calgarians to protect the dwindling Asian elephant popluation and their habitats world wide.  Without education-based programs to help connect the public to these consevation initiatives there may soon be no wild elephants to protect.

The people of Calgary are invested in the lives and welfare of these animals. We want what is best for them, and we think that The Calgary Zoo has the potential to provide it.

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Mr Lanthier, CEO Calgary Zoo 
Mr Nenshi, Mayor City of Calgary 
The Calgary Zoo 

We, the undersigned, petition officials of The City of Calgary and of The Calgary Zoo as follows:
That The City of Calgary and The Calgary Zoo reconsider the decision to relocate the herd of four Asian Elephants to another zoo, and instead invest in their future and uphold our responsibilities to both these individuals and the conservation of the species. 
The current exhibit for the elephants is undersized and cannot adequately meet the physical and social needs of the elephants, particularly with the opportunity to expand the herd, but we implore you to consider options which do not involve relocation from the zoos collection. With the collaboration of the City of Calgary and The Calgary Zoo, these options become feasible.
The zoo has an offsite location, the Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre, a 320-acre parcel of land which is primarily designated for the conservation breeding of endangered species. It is our understanding that the majority of this land is currently unused. We propose that The City of Calgary and The Calgary zoo invest in a state of the art elephant facility at this location, negating the issue of limited space for elephant habitat on St.Georges Island. A portion of this land could be used to create one of the largest accredited captive elephant habitats in the world, and The Calgary Zoo could rejoin the ranks of world leaders in elephant care and conservation. 
It is important, also, to consider the risks of a long-distance relocation to the elephants. This transfer would be high-stress and high-risk, and it is a possibility that the elephants will not survive it, or if they do, will not be accepted by an established herd at another zoo. It is believed that there are less than 35 000 Asian Elephants worldwide, far too few to consider risking these healthy individuals.
The people of Calgary are invested in the welfare of these animals, (indeed, many have grown up with them), and The City of Calgary and The Calgary Zoo have the opportunity to provide an environment which provides year-round comfort, socialization and enrichment for our elephants. The construction of a large indoor facility, as well as the development of an expansive yard designed for year-round use, would create a dynamic environment for the public to view and learn about elephants, while contributing to the conservation of this critically endangered species. Please give the people of Calgary, as well as the numerous tourists to our city, the opportunity to continue enjoying these elephants in a beautiful new environment. 

Our elephants deserve your reconsideration. Please invest into their future. 

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