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Free to a good home: four elephants from Emmen zoo

Wednesday 28 November 2012

A power struggle within a group of elephants at Emmen zoo has grown so out of hand that the zoo has decided to give away four of the herd free, the AD reports on Wednesday.


Photo: Emmen zoo

The power struggle erupted following the death of the herd's matriarch Htoo Khin Aye in June, when she collapsed and died, squashing her three-week old calf in the process. Since then, two rival strands of the family have been fighting it out for control.

The two leading females - Htoo Khin Aye's oldest daughter and another elephant who is the oldest female in the group - are now continually bullying each other, helped by their sisters and children.


The dispute has become so serious the two groups cannot exercise at the same time and have to be kept separated.

Now the zoo authorities have decided one female, her two sons and a daughter are to be found a new home and given away without charge. 'It is a really awful situation,' keeper Krista Nijstad told the paper. 'I know them well enough to realise they are not happy and are suffering from stress. We've tried everything and nothing works. The only thing we can do is separate them.

'They push each other, trumpet and flap their ears in anger,' Wybren Landman, spokesman for the zoo, told the AD. 'We have told other zoos the animals are available... If someone suitable comes forward, we will of course make absolutely sure it is a good place for them. But then they can go.'

Any suggestions? Use the comment form below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Zoos are archaic, cruel and unnecessary treatment of wild animals in general especially when the local climate is foreign. Stop taking prisoners! In the particular, send these animals to the 80 acre California wildlife sanctuary run by the Performing Animals Welfare Society.

By Puck | 28 November 2012 12:41 PM

Can I have one? I want it to poop on the front stoops/porches of the people in my neighborhood who don't think it is necessary to clean up after their dogs and let them crap on the green area next to my house.

By M | 28 November 2012 3:22 PM

Let's free them.Zoos are cruel.

By Philippe | 28 November 2012 4:34 PM

If they were in nature, and not in captivity, this wouldn't be a problem would it. Proof again that elephants should not live in zoos.

By LT | 29 November 2012 12:01 AM

Zoos are so cruel. There are too many elephants at this small zoo. They need lots of room. They should go to a sanctuary or a forest sanctuary where they can lots of room to roam, forage, swim in ponds and be with other elephants. They are crowded and frustrated. Can you imagine 10 kids in a closet??? How long would that last??
Send them to a large sanctuary not another zoo!!

By Cindy Wines | 29 November 2012 2:30 AM

Please stop keeping wild animal such as elephants in zoos. I agree it is archaic, in humane and serves no larger purpose. Please stop this horrible practice.

By Jul | 29 November 2012 3:00 AM

The Emmen Zoo is one of the nicest one arounds with their concept of "ecozones".

By Andre L. | 29 November 2012 5:59 AM

I've forwarded this article to Louise Joubert of the SanWild sanctuary in South Africa. Perhaps she'll have some ideas.

By Renata | 29 November 2012 7:26 AM

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has well over 2000 acres. If you can, why not send them there?

By Judy W. | 1 December 2012 2:59 PM

Unfortunately the SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa will not be able to give these elephants a new home as they are Asian elephants and we can by law only accept African elephants. www.sanwild.org

By Louise Joubert | 11 December 2012 6:19 AM

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