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IDA Announces First Annual International Day Of Action For Elephants In Zoos

IDA invites you to participate in the first International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos (IDAEZ), a global event aimed at bringing mammoth attention to the plight of elephants in zoos, and ending their suffering. On Saturday, June 20, pro-elephant advocates will turn out en masse at their nearest zoos, holding outreach events and demonstrations to educate the public about the tragic effects of keeping elephants in small, impoverished zoo pens where they suffer and die prematurely.

Billy the elephant at the LA ZooElephants are highly intelligent, complex and self-aware individuals who have evolved for long distance living. In the wild they range tens of miles a day, live in large, tight-knit family groups, and communicate with one another at great distances. Yet zoos keep elephants in tiny exhibits of a few acres or less, where lack of movement and standing on hard surfaces cause painful foot infections and arthritis, the leading causes of euthanasia in captive-held elephants. The stress and boredom typical of intensive confinement results in abnormal behaviors such as repetitive swaying and head bobbing.

In addition, many zoos still use a cruel, circus-style management method based on negativBullhook or Ankuse reinforcement and the use of bullhooks (a steel-tipped device similar to a fireplace poker) to poke, prod, stab and beat elephants into submission.

The newest scientific studies document what IDA has been saying all along: zoo conditions and practices have a profound effect on the lives of elephants, drastically shortening their life spans. Simply put, the earth’s largest land mammals just don’t belong in zoos.

The elephants need your help! That’s why IDA is urging everyone to participate in this very special day by coordinating or joining an event at your community's zoo. Your event can be as simple as handing out leaflets and holding signs, or you can create educational displays and provide petitions for people to sign. IDA will assist you by providing event materials including leaflets and fact sheets, helpful tips and more.

How you can get involved:

  • Coordinate an event. Submit your event information here, and we’ll post it on our web site so others can join you on June 20 and help make your city’s IDAEZ event a huge success.
  • Join an event. Check our events listing page to locate one near you (be sure to visit more than once as we’ll be adding more events up until June 20).
  • Bring a friend or two to an IDAEZ event. Share information about the elephants’ plight with your family, friends and colleagues.
  • Visit our web site for more ways you can help make the International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos a success for the elephants.
  • Hold an elephant awareness party. If you do not live near a zoo that holds elephants but are passionate about taking action on June 20, hold an elephant party to raise awareness and donations for IDA’s elephant campaign. Contact us  for materials and suggested videos to share.

Cruelty can’t stand the spotlight. So please join IDA and compassionate people around the globe on Saturday, June 20, to help bring an end to the suffering of elephants in zoos.

For more information, visit or contact IDAEZ Event Coordinator Melissa Gonzalez: or call 707-981-7701.

In Defense of Animals, located in San Rafael, Calif., is an international animal protection organization with more than 85,000 members and supporters dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights and welfare. IDA's efforts include educational events, cruelty investigations, boycotts, grassroots activism, and hands-on rescue through our sanctuaries in Mississippi, Mumbai, India, and Cameroon, Africa.

In Defense of Animals is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We welcome your feedback and appreciate your donations. Please join today! All donations to IDA are tax-deductible.

In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031

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