Dear Dr. Xavier Jayakumar,
Our friends at wildlife rights NGO Friends of the Orangutans Malaysia have published an article indicating they reviewed documents that lists two elephants, among other animals will be sent to be privately owned Langkawi Nature Park on the island of Langkawi. The owner of this zoo also owns Bukit Gambang Safari Park.
The information in these files (and notes in the sender's e-mail) are extremely concerning and it is also no surprise the NGO have received many complaints regarding the treatment of animals at both zoos including chimpanzees.
They have seen photos and videos showing inadequate standard of care and treatment for many animals at these zoos.
Among the documents was a list of animals being purchased by Langkawi Nature Park and those to be acquired from Perhilitan (The Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia, a governmental organization responsible for the protection of wildlife in Malaysia)
The document says Perhilitan will be the supplier of the two elephants to Langkawi Nature Park! The documents also showed that two baby elephants were sent to Bukit Gambang Safari Park in 2013 from the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary! Elephants don't live in pairs and should be with their mothers, if they are orphans they should still be with thin a herd with other elephants. It's shocking that your wildlife department sent two baby elephants from a sanctuary to Bukit Gambang Safari Park. Already causing such an upset and concerns. Inquiries were made over the welfare of the two elephants that were sent to Bukit Gambang Safari Park.
Why is an elephant sanctuary (run by Perhilitan) who are responsible to provide a "safe haven" for elephants be a supplier to a zoo? Will the Langkawi elephants also be babies from the sanctuary?
What's alarming is that there are zoos in Malaysia that chain elephants for very long hours when not on display and they refuse to keep elephants in a chain free environment. This type of practice is cruel and unacceptable, and mental torture to elephants.
Zoos around the world have started to retire their elephants to ethical sanctuaries because they are aware elephants cannot thrive in captivity. But Malaysia is doing the opposite!
Elephants don't belong in a zoo here are the reason why
•Elephants are extremely social & live in heards / In captivity social deprivation and abnormal repetitive behaviors such as swaying and head bobbing is common. This has also been seen in Bukit Gambang Safari Park
•Elephant's never forget / abuse, neglect, and crammed in small spaces and confinement causing foot disease & arthritis
•Elephants graze in the wild eating a variety of food / In captivity they are given an inadequate diet
•In the wild elephants live in herds and travel 10 - 20km a day/ In captivity they are confined to tiny spaces
•Elephants in the wild can live to be over 70Yrs of age/ In captivity they have lower life spans and have premature deaths before 40
For The Love of elephants, please sign the petition so that the pending transfer of 2 elephants to Langkawi Nature Park is canceled. We are petitioning wildlife authorities and Malaysian Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar.
It must be recognized that elephants are sensitive complex animals they require large social groups. They are compassionate, with family, friendship strength and bonds.
We must continue to protect them, elephants don't belong in the tourism industry or any zoo (as a tourist we should always remember elephants don't need our money) but these exploitative industries do!