MILWAUKEE (WISN) — An animal rights group names the Milwaukee County Zoo among the 10 worst zoos for elephants in North America.
According to In Defense of Animals, the 2018 list calls attention to outdated, failing and cruel practices at U.S. zoos.
It lists Milwaukee County Zoo at No. 10, saying the facility spent $25 million to expand its cold-climate elephant exhibit.
The organization said the zoo should send African elephants Ruth and Brittany to a warm weather sanctuary.
Milwaukee experiences numbingly cold temperatures during its long winters, making it completely unsuitable for elephants. A small “semi-heated outdoor area” for the elephants to use during the brutal winter is a pathetic concession that will utterly fail to satisfy the elephants’ innate need to roam, the group said.
The Milwaukee County Zoo released a statement Tuesday, saying in part, “The Zoo has been a longtime supporter of elephant conservation in the wild, and will continue to serve in that role through Adventure Africa … Milwaukee County Zoo staff is looked upon as experts in the field of animal conservation and well-being, and continues to adhere to the strict guidelines of animal care and welfare as set forth by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), of which the Zoo has been an accredited member since 1976.”
Complete list of Top 10 worst zoos for elephants:
- Bronx Zoo, Bronx, New York
- Natural Bridge Zoo, Rockbridge County, Virginia
- Dallas Zoo, Dallas, Texas
- Louisville Zoo, Louisville, Kentucky
- Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence, Rhode Island
- Birmingham Zoo, Birmingham, Alabama
- Caldwell Foundation Zoo, Tyler, Texas
- Topeka Zoo, Topeka, Kansas
- Seneca Park Zoo, Rochester, New York
- Milwaukee County Zoo, Milwaukee, Wisconsin