A new PETA video shows what has been happening to baby elephants at a zoo in Germany.
Employees can be seen using whips, bull hooks and an item that looks like a fireplace poker with a sharp metal hook at one tend to force the elephants to perform tricks all for the entertainment of visitors.
PETA Germany has filed a complaint as a result with local law enforcement to call for an end to the exhibit and breeding programme.
Elephant expert Carol Buckley, who looked at the footage concluded that the abuse inflicted on the baby elephants will result in long- lasting trauma.
"No zoo can provide elephants with the open space, freedom, and companionship these highly intelligent living beings need in order to thrive", says PETA Director Elisa Allen. "If zoos were serious about protecting endangered species, they would ask the public to donate to programmes that protect animals in their native habitats, rather than turning them into living exhibits."
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to use for entertainment" – reminds us that elephants are highly social creatures who thrive in matriarchal herds where they protect each other, care for their young, and travel a significant number of miles each day.
In zoos, their lives are very different- they're confined to enclosures, they sometimes develop arthritis and other foot problems. They also experience psychological distress. Many captive elephants exhibit signs of zoochosis, including repeatedly swaying back and forth. Their life expectancy in captivity is half that of elephants in the wild.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.
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