Behind Bars for 50 Years: Miyako the Elephant Needs Your Help

UN LAB Middleware Label: Title Ends

Miyako is one of the loneliest elephants in the world. Even though elephants need the company and companionship of other members of their species, she has been alone in a cramped pen at Utsunomiya Zoo in Japan for 50 years. She’s forced to stand on concrete amid her own waste day after interminable day. In a desperate attempt to find comfort, she sways back and forth—an abnormal behavior that reflects her acute mental and emotional distress.

After five decades without the company of other elephants, Miyako spends her days biting at the bars of her barren enclosure. Her only form of stimulation is attempting to interact with zoo visitors while standing on a raised concrete slab. She often tries to reach across the trench in front of this slab and get food that the visitors hold out to her—putting herself at risk of serious injury. She endures almost unimaginable loneliness and frustration.

Lonely elephant Miyako standing on concrete in zoo.

Thanks to decades of field research, we know that elephants are highly intelligent, social animals who lavish affection and attention on their family members. In their natural habitat, their days are filled with socializing, exploring, playing, and participating in other activities of their choosing. Every birth is a celebration, and the deaths of loved ones are mourned. Miyako has been denied all these fundamental life experiences.

Lonely elephant Miyako standing alone in concrete zoo.

PETA has contacted Utsunomiya Zoo’s owner offering to help transfer Miyako to a sanctuary or another facility where she would have space to roam and other elephants to socialize with for the first time in 50 years. Indefensibly, he has refused.

Miyako the Elephant Needs Your Help!
Comment on social media asking Utsunomiya Zoo to accept PETA’s offer to transfer Miyako to a suitable facility where she wouldn’t have to suffer in isolation:

Then please use the form below to urge companies that sponsor Utsunomiya Zoo to ask its owner to accept our offer to transfer Miyako to a sanctuary or another facility with other elephants. Feel free to use the sample letter below, but keep in mind that your request will carry more weight if you write your own message and subject line.

de Park
Pan de Park
Sano Premium
Sano Premium Italian Co., Ltd.
Koraku Corporation
Uprising Co., Ltd.
Iso Landscape
Iso Landscape Engineering Co., Ltd.
Agri Labor
Management Office
Agri Labor Management Office
Sakura International
High School
Sakura International High School

Take Action Now!

Fields with an asterisk(*) are required. 

Sign me up for the following e-mail:

Get texts & occasional phone calls for Action Alerts, local events, & other updates to help animals with PETA! (optional)