Statement on Exhibition of Elephants in Captivity
For the purpose of this statement, “exhibition” refers to circuses, zoos, tourist facilities, temples, and elephant safari operations. In these situations, elephants endure conditions that are inadequate to meet their needs, as they lack essential components of wild ecosystems and inhibit expression of natural behaviours.
Scientific and experiential evidence indicates that the use of elephants as performers, riding objects, and exhibit specimens can be physically and psychologically detrimental to these highly intelligent, sensitive, and self-aware animals. Confinement, restraint, travel, harmful training practices, exhibition, isolation, noise, performing, and exposure to the public while living in unnatural environments can adversely affect elephants’ health and welfare.
For the following reasons, based on fact and science, ESAI opposes the confinement of elephants in captive environments for exhibition.