The real story about our elephant project


Drought-stricken dam in Big Game Parks remains empty.

As you may know, we’re awaiting approval of a permit to relocate 18 elephants who face certain death in Swaziland. We’re joining two other accredited U.S. zoos to give them the newest, most innovative homes for elephants in human care. Some anti-zoo activists are spreading untruths about this project and attacking us to spark negative comments to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services. They believe these animals are better off dead than living in our remarkable new habitats – and we strongly disagree.

So we’re sharing the facts in this short VIDEO below. We partner with many African conservation groups, helping save species in crisis there. It’s a difficult, complex situation with few easy answers. Between the horrific daily poaching deaths and the devastating Swazi drought, there simply is no safe place for these elephants in Africa. Swazi officials have worked on their thoughtful conservation plan for 50 years, and their decision about these elephants is critical to saving the nearly extinct black rhino. We are proud to offer our help. We know we will give these elephants an excellent quality of life, and we simply cannot stand by while they die.

And yes, we also believe that in the U.S., these remarkable animals will inspire new generations to help endangered wildlife worldwide. We’re committed to large, multi-generational herds that will keep families together. In 2003, activists protested a similar project that brought 11 elephants to the U.S. They lost, after an extensive analysis by government officials and in court, but are again fighting this project, using the same dated arguments. And it’s worth noting that since then, those 11 elephants have produced 14 healthy calves – a success for this species.

PLEASE GIVE US 90 SECONDS to watch this video that outlines our elephant project. Then visit for more details. We think you’ll be moved by the photos of the hardship there.

We appreciate you taking the time to understand this difficult issue. If you’d like to comment on the permit request, you may do so HERE.


Categories: Africa, Elephant | 20 Comments

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20 thoughts on “The real story about our elephant project

  1. Sonja Pierce

    What a wonderful way to help those who need help. Conservation is critical at this time when we are losing so many species, or are about to lose them. I hope that Dallas Zoo gets the permits needed to help these wonderful elephants.

  2. Zoo’s do sooo much more than just “keeping” animals. They study behaviors, habitat, diseases, reproduction and most of all allow thousands to see these animals up close. Without zoos no doubt many animals would be extinct or on their way out.

  3. Melissa McAndrews

    The Dallas Zoo would be a great habitat for these elephants. They do a wonderful job caring for the animals and educating the public about them. It would be ashamed to not have these beautiful animals live a full life.

  4. Please please let Dallas Zoo have those beautiful Elephants. They will have a wonderful home. Please do the right thing.

  5. Janet romano

    Please approve the elephants move to the zoo.

  6. Donna Lackey

    Please allow zoos in America to help save these elephant from death. There are many American Zoos top notch, Dallas Zoo being one. They’re humane and have a capable staff to care and provide for animals, that I’m sure.

    As for the naysayers: I hate that this may become political. These zoos are private or community based. I don’t fear an elephant terrorist. America has always been a country to provide a better future for those who seek it. These animals deserve a chance to be saved if there are those willing to provide private funds for the cause.


    Donna Lackey

  7. Donna Lackey

    Please, let me add: These elephants and rhinos would be much safer in these American zoos — and protected — than pictures I’ve seen where poachers have slaughtered them for their ivory. I beg you to give them a second chance.

    Sincerely, Donna Lackey

  8. carol vila

    Rather than see another death of an elephant family, it is important that we find a place for them here. We have the means, the will, and the regulatory infrastructure to protect them. While this is not ideal for any creature, it is better than extermination.

  9. Linda Carlton

    To Whom it may concern,

    I support the Zoos efforts to keep these magnificent animals alive. These animals are worth fighting for, so please keep up your efforts to bring them to zoos before it’s too late. Zoos are a great conservation tool to ensure we have these animals for generations to come.

    Thank you,
    Linda Carlton

  10. Cheri Witt

    I understand them wanting to stay committed to saving the Rhinos and I’m happy they are doing so but to allow these magnificent creatures to be destroyed is unacceptable especially if there are people willing to take them in there care . Please don’t stop until you get the Elephants!!!!

  11. Maria helena prado

    Many zoos today have a totally different function than old zoos. I see modern zoos the best means to defeat extinction of endangered species.
    Those elephants, if allowed to move to Dallas zoo will not only escape death but will be able to live ‘elephant life’ enjoying their existence which these extraordinarely intelligent beings deserve.
    Please, let them go.

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