Silver Spring, MD – Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved an import permit to allow 18 African elephants to be brought into the country by three zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). In response, the AZA released the following statement:
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums is pleased that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved the African elephant import permit requested by three AZA member zoos: Dallas Zoo, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, and the Sedgwick County Zoo. Once threatened by the serious risk of poaching, by drought, and by conflict with other wildlife in Swaziland, these elephants will now receive the best possible care at these three AZA-accredited zoos, where animal welfare, veterinary care, conservation, safety, and other important factors are mandatory and top priority. By saving these individual African elephants, while also supporting ongoing rhino conservation efforts in Swaziland, the zoos in Dallas, Omaha and Wichita will connect millions to learning about this magnificent, endangered species.
It is important to remember that over 30,000 wild African elephants are killed per year – almost 100 each day -- for their ivory. AZA members believe it is critical that visitors to zoos make the connection between these ambassador elephants and the threats they face in the wild, empowering the public to take action and help conserve elephants for future generations. Learn what you can do at 96elephants.org.
Additional information about the involvement of AZA and AZA-accredited facilities in elephant conservation is available online at the AZA website (https://www.aza.org/elephant-conservation/) and through AZA's latest Annual Report on Conservation and Science (https://www.aza.org/annual-report-on-conservation-and-science).
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and seven other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.