G.A. Bradshaw Statement to Transfer Lucky
Captive Wildlife Advocacy

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G.A. Bradshaw Statement to Transfer Lucky

Statement by: G.A. Bradshaw Ph.D., Ph. D.
Director, The Kerulos Center for Animals Psychology and Trauma Recovery
Oregon State University & Pacifica Graduate Institute USA
tel: 541-899-1070

This letter writes in support of Lucky to be transferred to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Additional to my own internationally and nationally recognized expertise on elephant psychological and physical trauma, professionals with decades of research in elephant ecology, ethology, and medicine have all testified to the severely damaging effects the conditions to which Lucky is subjected. These professional opinions are based on the following science:

• Elephant captivity in zoos is comparable to humans kept in prison.
Because both species share common brain structures and mechanisms, they are comparably vulnerable to stress caused by forced incarceration, physical deprivation, isolation, and other trauma and stress.

• Close confinement experienced by individuals such as Lucky is the primary cause of ill-health, immeasurable suffering and premature death.
Captivity leads to a serious, enduring disorders including vulnerability to disease and predisposition to injury, impaired mental capacities, stereotypies, depression, anorexia, eating disorders, self-mutilation, a predisposition to hyper-aggression, asociality, and an inability to cope with any stress. There is well-known and has even recently been documented in an extensive study of 4,500 elephants and was published in the most prestigious America journal, Science, by Clubb et al 2008.

• The first urgent step to ensure Lucky’s wellbeing is to remove her from the Zoo and send her to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee (TES) where she can be rehabilitated and further damage to her can be prevented. The expansive grounds and skilled care at TES provides the essential conditions for recovery of her mind and body, including: free and lifetime social bonding and opportunities to socialize with multiple individuals, miles of wooded hill habitat to walk in, fresh ponds to bathe in, nourishing food and fresh water, personalize medical expertise, and freedom of choice to decide when, what, and how she wishes to do.

It is shocking that the there is such profound disregard and misinformation by those purported to care for Lucky, given the decades of accessible scientific research that compels her transfer. If science recognizes that elephants are like us, we are required to meet their standards of ethics and humanity as equals. How can we deny what we ourselves desire to live?

We welcome your comments and questions