Three Elephants Have Died at the Monterey Zoo, and Now Butch Is All Alone—Help Him Today!

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Update: April 29, 2021
Another elephant has died at the Monterey Zoo, and as with the previous deaths of Paula and Kristy, PETA has serious questions about whether Buffy 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 blocked and ruptured her intestine, eventually causing blood poisoning. Her condition was painful, and if the 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 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 the Monterey Zoo, we received their 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 Paula 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 Kristy was down before she died.

Originally posted on March 31, 2020:

The 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 where guests would be allowed to interact with and feed 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 facility's remaining elephants, 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 the right to live free from exploitation, and we must reject the cruel, speciesist idea that humans are entitled to use them as photo props.

Please sign our petition urging the Monterey Zoo to retire the remaining elephant, Butch, to an accredited sanctuary immediately.


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