LETTER: Watertown Resident Urges Passage of Laws Protecting Elephants in Mass.

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Aug. 12 was World Elephant Day, an annual international event to raise awareness about the plight of elephants across the globe.

Elephants are social animals living in family groups. across expansive ranges in the wild. Research reveals them to be intelligent and emotionally complex. They celebrate their young, mourn their dead, and remember their kin. They are a keystone species – they have an important role in the lives of other animals within their habitats.

Unfortunately, elephants are not safe here in Massachusetts. In 2019, an elephant named Beulah collapsed and died while performing at the Big E in Springfield. It was determined that her death was caused by an untreated uterine infection. Karen, another elephant owned by the same business, Commerford & Sons Petting Zoo died earlier that year of kidney failure. The Commerford Zoo has been cited more than 50 times for Animal Welfare Act Violations. We must put an end to such needless suffering and death in Massachusetts and follow six other states in banning wild animals in traveling shows.

There is a Bill pending in Massachusetts that will ensure no other elephant will live a life of misery in a traveling show: S. 2251: An Act relative to the use of elephants, big cats, primates, giraffes, and bears in traveling exhibits and shows. If this Bill is passed, it will save many animals from living a life of abuse, neglect, and misery. Please act now and contact your legislator so we can show the nation that Massachusetts values the lives of all species and puts animal rights above commercial consumerism and exploitation.

Other things you can do to protect elephants:

• Do not attend any shows or zoos that have performing elephants.

• Never ride an elephant! Elephants are ‘trained’ through something that is called elephant crush. It is truly horrifying.      

• Do not purchase any ivory products.

• Learn about organizations around the world that are working to save and protect elephants. Here are a few: Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, International Elephant Foundation, Free All Captive Elephants, Nonhuman Rights Project, and Massachusetts for Elephants

Ann Cox
Watertown Resident

3 thoughts on “LETTER: Watertown Resident Urges Passage of Laws Protecting Elephants in Mass.

    • We need to improve our civics education to ensure that people know that just because something doesn’t affect them directly, it still may call for some government action.

  1. Bravo, Ms. Cox, bravo! Your letter is spot-on. People who care about and respect elephants and other animals must recognize that supporting their servitude in circuses, zoos, and traveling shows means supporting their suffering. You buy a ticket? It’s your fault. It’s that simple.

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