Elephant research has found that African elephants in zoos are not self-sustaining in captivity as they are in the wild. Check out why we should continue to research elephants in zoos. 

The importance of research and conservation action for elephants in zoos

When was the last time that you went to the zoo, a couple of years ago or a couple of months ago? What animal were you more excited to see? If you are like any other wildlife lover, you were ecstatic to see the elephants.

For many years, elephants have been one of the most beloved and charismatic animals in zoos. Elephant research has found that African elephants in zoos are not self-sustaining in captivity as they are in the wild. 

Why are African elephants dying in zoos? 

The dangers of "captive extinction" is a possibility. Captive extinction means that there will be no more elephants in zoos. Understanding the causes of morbidity, mortality and poor reproductive performance to prevent captive extinction is now the highest priority.  

What's the mortality of African elephants in zoos?

When people think of African elephants in zoos, they think that they have been saved from the dangers in the wild. Typically, people have the thought because animals are safe in zoos they are away from danger and live longer. 

Yes, African elephants are away from poachers who kill them for their ivory. Their new homes are not in danger of being cut down or invaded by humans. 

African elephants are not surviving in zoos. According to National Geographic, African elephants in the wild live longer than those in captivity in zoos. In Amboseli, they can live for about 56 years! While in the zoos, they only live for nearly 17 years. The difference is huge! 

What's the reproductive performance of African elephants in zoos? 

One of the leading factors that African elephants are not self-sustaining in captivity of zoos is their poor reproductive performance. Over the past ten years, elephants in zoos' death rates exceeded birth rates. For three births of African elephants, there are five deaths annually. 

Research has found that elephants in zoos have increased infertility rates. Their infertility rates have gone from 22 percent to 45 percent over seven years. One of the causes could be due to an ovarian cycle disruption in captive elephants

Lack of exercise and high-calorie diets and lack of exercise of African elephants in zoos could be causing a disruption in their ovarian cycles.  Researchers found a correlation between an African Elephant's body mass and ovarian inactivity. This could indicate that zoos need re-examine African Elephant's diets and help them get more exercise. 

How can we help African elephants? 

You can help by supporting elephant research that will help keep the populations of African Elephants in zoos healthy and sustainable. Making donations to organizations like ours will help continue the elephant research needed. 

For Elephants, we are working towards reversing the predicted demise of elephants in zoos. If you would like to contribute to continuing our research, you can donate by purchasing a shirt or making a small donation. Make your small donation today, and make a difference. 

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