I decided to create this blog post for a couple of reasons. Firstly due to my love of elephants, which are just the coolest animals on the planet. Also the elephant has become newsworthy in Australia, with two elephants at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo and one at the Melbourne Zoo having recently given birth. Both Melbourne and Taronga have other elephants that are pregnant and will give birth before 2010 has ended. These are said to be the first elephant births ever to have occurred in Australia.
There has been another issue to do with elephants in Australia that has gained some media attention. Up until the 1960s elephants and circuses seemed synonymous with each other but things have changed in the last thirty or so years. People now consider it to be cruel to have elephants in circuses and those who joined the circuses in the mid-1950s have now reached retirement age and circuses the world over are struggling with what to do with these great animals. Animal Liberationists have called on one circus in Australia, Perry Bros. to send their elephant Saigon away to be free, whatever that means. Perry’s have expressed that the situation that Saigon is currently in is not ideal BUT circumstances mean that Saigon must stay on with them and travel on the road. In a future post I hope to go over Saigon’s plight but not until I have all the questions that I have asked answered, because I believe that whatever I write has to be fair and balanced, not biased. I don’t really trust the media’s reports on the situation and really if you want to write about something I find that it is best to do a little research. I won’t try to pick sides but instead I will discuss the issue as I see it before giving my opinion. In what I feel will infuriate everyone who reads it, my opinion at the moment is neither pro or anti circus. (I fear that I am going to feel the wrath of both animal liberationists and circus people.)
In future posts I will also explore the plight of these animals in the wild both in Africa and Asia. One issue that is especially dear to my heart is the fate of the rare Borneo Pygmy Elephant due to the loss of habitat for palm oil plantations. Of course Palm Oil plantations affect other animals (tigers, orangutans, etc) in various Asian countries too, but the elephants in Malaysia’s Sabah state will be the ones I will focus on. I also hope to talk about the controversy surrounding the elephants in Sabah’s Lok Kawi Wildlife Park (ie they are pygmy elephants taken from the wild). I will also explore the issue of pygmy elephants being captured and sent to zoos in China and Japan back in 2003.
I do have other issues and things to cover but this is probably enough for now. I hope to do a thorough research in each of these posts that I do so I may be very slow updating. Hopefully I will do a follow up on this soon.