In light of this decision taken at CoP18, we do not believe that the Pakistan government can issue NOC documents for the importation of two wild caught elephants from Zimbabwe.
PUBLISHED SCIENTIC EXPERTISE ON CAPTIVE ELEPHANTS
The IUCN’s African Elephant Specialist Group has stated that is not aware of any acceptable destinations that meet the requirements for ex-situ housing of forest or savanna elephants.
Elephants have been shown to suffer physically and psychologically in captivity and to be susceptible to many circumstantial diseases that are not seen in the wild such as obesity, arthritis, foot problems, mental illness, dental problems, skin problems, bowel disorders, respiratory disease, and other infectious diseases such as TB that they can contract from and transmit to humans.
Potential causes of poor welfare in zoo elephants include: restricted space and opportunity to exercise, unsuitable climate, extended periods of confinement, hard or wet flooring, inappropriate diet, small social groups, lack of stability in social groups, lack of opportunity to exhibit natural behaviours, and exposure to aversive stimuli in training and handling.
Recently it has emerged that there is a possibility for zoonotic disease to manifest in animals that are kept in captivity where various related stresses compromise their immune systems thereby creating ideal conditions for novel diseases to emerge.
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