Three Elephants Have Died at Monterey Zoo—Take Action Now!

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Update: October 8, 2021

Monterey Zoo has moved the last remaining elephant there, Butch, to an accredited zoo where he’ll have the companionship of other elephants and won’t be bossed around with bullhooks. But the roadside zoo says that the move is only temporary and that it will bring him back when it can get more elephants. Three elephants there have died under questionable circumstances after spending their lives being exploited for money and human entertainment. Monterey Zoo should never gamble with another elephant’s life and must never again have elephants.

Update: April 29, 2021
Another elephant, Buffy, has died at Monterey Zoo, and as with the previous deaths of Paula and Kristy, PETA has serious questions regarding whether she received adequate veterinary care. Her necropsy report shows that she was found dead in February after suffering from abdominal pain for 17 days. A large amount of sand had blocked and ruptured her intestine, eventually causing blood poisoning. Her condition was painful, and if Monterey Zoo had performed certain essential diagnostic tests, it’s possible that the cause of Buffy’s illness could have been determined and more aggressively treated, potentially saving her life. PETA is asking the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death.

In the meantime, the last remaining elephant there, Butch, desperately needs your help. It’s imperative that he be released to an accredited sanctuary that will provide him with expert care, a vast rolling habitat, and the opportunity to be with other elephants if he chooses. He shouldn’t have to spend the rest of his life in solitary confinement, being used as a photo prop.

Update: July 2, 2020
After PETA exposed the deaths of Paula and Kristy at Monterey Zoo, we received the elephants’ necropsy reports, which revealed the following:

  • Paula was euthanized in January 2019 after she went down and was unable to stand. She had a severe, painful joint condition called osteochondrosis, which usually results in lameness, joint swelling, and reduced range of motion. It’s unknown how long she was down before she was released from her suffering.
  • Kristy went down and died of a severe bacterial infection months later, in October 2019. Salmonella and clostridium were found in her intestinal tract, where the tissue was inflamed and dying, and E. coli was found in her liver and kidneys. It’s unknown how long she was down before she died.

Originally posted on March 31, 2020:

Monterey Zoo in Salinas, California, is doing something inhumane and dangerous, and we need your help.

In 2018, two handlers were walking elephants Paula and Kristy to a location where guests would be allowed to feed them and otherwise interact with them. When Paula refused to keep walking, an employee “took aggressive action” with her. The elephant then “began thrashing the employee,” throwing them in the air and causing serious injuries, including a broken back.

The following year, both Paula and Kristy were dead. The remaining elephants at the facility, Butch and Buffy, were still forced into dangerous direct contact with humans.

In their natural homes, elephants roam immense habitats, cool off in mud wallows, and knock down trees and strip their bark. They live in close-knit families and have vast, complex social networks. They nurture their young and mourn their dead—just as Butch and Buffy must have done for Paula and Kristy. Just like us, elephants deserve to live free from exploitation, and we must reject the cruel, speciesist idea that humans are entitled to use them for entertainment.

Please sign our petition urging Monterey Zoo to close its elephant exhibit for good.


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