HONOLULU, Jan. 13 (UPI) — Officials at the Honolulu Zoo, reacting to criticism their elephants are badly housed, say they will build a bigger enclosure rather than release the animals.
A mainland group critical of the limited space afforded to elephants at the zoo says it would like to see the animals back in the wild because the facilities are outdated, KITV, Honolulu, reported.
“Just about everything about this antiquated elephant exhibit is wrong. It cramps two of the largest animals into 6,000 square feet. It lacks space for healthy movement and trainers use bull hooks which are designed to inflict pain on elephants to control them,” Catherine Doyle of the group In Defense of Animals said Tuesday.
The new $6.2 million elephant habitat to be finished next year is expected to be five times the size of the current facility but critics say it falls short of what’s needed.
“That’s not enough for elephants that walk miles each day and live in large family groups,” Doyle said. “What we would like to see is Honolulu Zoo release the animals to a sanctuary that can provide space and natural conditions that elephants need to survive.”
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