Using a weapon on a captive elephant is blatantly cruel. Unfortunately, this harsh treatment is simply business as usual for one New England zoo. Please urge Roger Williams Park Zoo to stop using bullhooks and to close down its elephant exhibit once and for all.
At the beginning of January, we released our respected list of the Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants in North America. Roger Williams Park Zoo, located in Providence, Rhode Island, has landed on the number 5 spot, primarily due to its use of, and advocacy for, weapons known as bullhooks.
Bullhooks are sharp instruments which can be jabbed into elephants' most sensitive places to force them to obey human commands. Bullhook weapons are insidious because they can inflict pain without causing visible injury — therefore intimidating the large, intelligent animals with physical harm while avoiding upsetting zoo attendees. The psychological scars these weapons can leave are also hidden from the public and cause some elephants to respond out of fear merely at the sight of one.
The Zoo's public statements have also revealed troubling attitudes toward elephants. Jann Warmbold, Elephant Manager at Roger Williams Park Zoo, claims the management of elephants involves "outsmarting" them. This claim is insulting to elephant intelligence and entirely inaccurate. At Roger William Park Zoo, the elephants are physically and psychologically dominated, not outsmarted. Another statement regarding the Zoo's use of bullhooks alludes to elephants becoming "upset," leading us to ask why the Zoo is permitted to upset elephants in the first place.
Now is the time to get in touch with this zoo and respectfully ask it to stop using bullhook weapons and to shut down its elephant exhibit for good.
1. Call Jeremy Goodman, Executive Director of Roger Williams Park Zoo: (401) 785-3510 ex309
Politely request for the staff at Roger Williams Park Zoo to stop using bullhooks for any reason, and encourage him to send the Zoo's elephants to an accredited sanctuary where they can live out their lives in relative peace and privacy.
2. Email Jeremy Goodman, Executive Director of Roger Williams Park Zoo
End the Use of Bullhooks and Retire Roger Williams Park Zoo Elephants
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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