Monday, April 23, 2012

Calgary Zoo Elephants

 Does anyone have any idea what year this was?

Spike rough housing with the culprit that caused the first tusk break.  For you folks who find elephant's "cute and cuddly" trust me, they don't play like Fluffy does with the tennis ball.......

Spike in the snow, sometime prior to the second tusk breakage

I've posted this picture from the great website, so you would have an idea of what not enough space looks like.

Zoo Elephant - Asian Elephants at the Zoological Gardens of the World

 Nick News

Do you know anybody who has room for a few elephants?
A Canadian zoo has announced that it’s looking for a new home for its small herd, because of a lack of space.
The head of the Calgary, Alberta, Zoo announced Thursday that he thought the zoo’s four elephants would do better in a larger herd that has more room to roam.
So he’s trying to find them another place to live.
“This decision was about animal welfare,” said the zoo’s chief executive officer, Clement Lanthier, in a written statement sent to the Toronto Star newspaper.  “The Calgary Zoo has limited areas for expansion due to our location on an island within the city center.”
The plan is to move the Calgary elephants to an acceptable new home in the next four or five years, according to published reports.
Lanthier reportedly called that decision, “terribly difficult.”
“We have had elephants here (in Calgary) for more than 40 years,” he said, according to the Star.  “Our team of dedicated professional elephant keepers (has) literally devoted their careers to care for these inspiring animals.”
Several Canadian zoos have been under pressure to find new homes for their elephants.
Late last year, Toronto officials decided that the elephants at their city’s zoo should be moved to an elephant sanctuary in California.
And 172 miles northeast of Calgary, the Valley Zoo in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has been under strong pressure from animal rights activists to move its last remaining elephant – Lucy – to a larger, warmer home.
Valley Zoo officials say Lucy’s health is too fragile to move her.
Critics say the cold Canadian climate and a lack of room to exercise are causing those health problems – or at least contributing to them.
“I don’t think there should be elephants in Canada,” TV personality and animal rights activist Bob Barker told the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) last December.  “It’s not the (right) place for elephants.  And I think it’s becoming obvious.”
According to published reports, the first elephant to leave Calgary will probably be Spike.
He’s the lone bull in the small herd.
Spike is actually owned by the Miami, Florida Zoo, even though he’s been staying in Calgary for the past 20 years.
Calgary officials are also trying to find one facility – a zoo or an acceptable sanctuary – that will take in all three of its female elephants together.
Those elephants are Kamala, Swarna and Kamala’s daughter Maharani.
Another concern is that Maharani is reportedly expecting a calf early next year.
So the herd is likely to need more room soon anyway.
“We know many people in Calgary will be as sad as we are regarding this decision (to move the elephants),” Lanthier said, according to CTV Calgary.  “But we are confident that everyone wants only the best for the long-term welfare and care of these magnificent animals.”

 Courtesy of John Goodall(Really John, Nick News?  Do you check it out during Sponge Bob commercials?)  :)

Like North Dakota it does warm up in Calgary, briefly.

Calgary Herald
The Calgary Zoo’s decision to send its Asian elephants packing within the next half-decade drew praise from animal experts as a “bold move” — but also warnings about the potential risks of relocating the large pachyderms.
The zoo announced this week plans to shut down the popular Elephant Crossing exhibit, saying it’s in the animals’ best interest to find them a new home with more space and a larger herd.
Dr. Georgia Mason, an animal behaviour expert at the University of Guelph in Ontario, said she believes the Calgary facility is making the right choice to move its three adult females (and potentially a calf due February 2013) and bull elephant, but said the decision could expose the zoo to multiple criticisms, too.

Officials have now acknowledged flaws in their elephant care plan, Mason noted. That criticism may now trickle down to other zoos that keep elephants in similar space and climate conditions.
Further, moving elephants comes with inherent logistical risks, said Mason, who authored a controversial 2008 research paper that suggested living in a zoo drastically shortens the lives of elephants.
“We found that being moved to a new zoo was a risk factor, it increases the chances of death in the following few years,” added Mason.
“That’s a hurdle, as well, that moving elephants risks stressing them and bringing about health problems as a result.”
Once the Calgary Zoo determined its inner-city facility didn’t provide enough space or socialization for an elephant herd, it had to weigh its options and decide whether the move was worth the potential dangers, she said.
Mason said she believes the zoo made the right call.

“It’s a judgment call. Moving elephants is not an easy thing to do. Despite that, I would support what the Calgary Zoo is doing. I think they’re doing the right thing.”
The zoo will spend the next several years searching for the right home for its elephants.
A major North American study now underway collecting health-related data on zoo elephants across the continent is due to be released by then, and its information should contain good data for Calgary to analyze in its quest, Mason said.
Calgary Zoo officials say the elephants’ new home must have more room for the animals, a herd of at least eight, and the facility must participate in an accredited breeding program.
The Calgary decision meshes with a growing sense within the research community that elephants must have more space and a more natural habitat than most zoos can provide, said international elephant expert Joyce Poole.

Poole, co-director of ElephantVoices, said if elephants must be kept in captivity, they must have as natural a habitat as possible, and many zoos simply can’t provide such a space.
A paper she authored suggests while it’s difficult to define the minimum space needed, it should likely include a population between 25 and 35 within 50 to 70 square kilometres.
One theory is that North America should look at developing one or two enormous elephant reserves. That plan, while more appealing than zoos, raises further questions about sustainability and breeding, said Poole in an interview from Norway.
“I’m pleased that zoos are making more space for elephants, but I’m disappointed that none of them are taking the step to really do what elephants really need, to go really big and to say, not every urban zoo needs elephants,” said Poole.

'I still don't understand what validity the study of wild, free ranging animals has to do with captive animals of the same species.   Horse's do well stalled, ridden/schooled regularly, and occasionally given free run in a paddock,(if the nit wit doesn't hurt him/her self or bow a tendon acting the fool).  They used to roam free in larger herds, but then they were domesticated.  How long have elephants been in captivity?   I bet field researcher Joyce Poole and other field researcher's with an "agenda" are using their "bias" to jerk folks around, and folk's are buying into it, because it "feels good," and they know no different.  Just my thought, and I will await someone to disprove me.  
Recently on facebook there was a picture posted of the King of Spain posing with an elephant that he had legally obtained a license to shoot.  You can not imagine the anger and comments in regards to the picture and the prick King.  Just incredible!!!!!  Post a picture of a dead American soldier, and I promise it will barely get a second look.  Recall a few years ago when the homeless blind man and his dog were struck by a taxi in Manhattan.  Both were rushed to the hospital emergency room and vet emergency clinic in serious condition.  Both survived.  The dog received over 5000 get well cards/wishes from unknown senders.  The blind, homeless man received 2...........That is just wrong.  I have spent my life with animals, respect and love them with all my heart, and can't imagine a day without one in my life, but that is just criminally wrong.    Someone explain to me what has happened to the world and mankind, when a dead or injured animal will bring a greater out poring of grief, concern, and anger then the death or injury of a human being?

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