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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

Dear Kashin, Rest in Peace

Published 08/27/09
By Adam M. Roberts, Senior Vice President

I have just read that the Auckland Zoo in New Zealand is closing its gates for a day as staff bemoan the loss of a 40-year-old Asian elephant named Kashin.

The article notes that she was euthanized “after losing her battle with chronic health conditions.” How mysterious.

Losing her battle with chronic health conditions!? What fascinating language. I’ve heard that before about humans — people who fought valiantly, despite overwhelming odds, against a disease like cancer. But something about this language seemed off. Kashin? A battle against an unforeseen, unanticipated disease?

What are these puzzling “chronic health conditions?”

Back to the article: “... years of chronic arthritis and foot abscesses.” Ah, that makes sense. We all know that many elephants in zoos suffer from serious foot problems. From arthritis. From a lack of movement. From standing in their own waste. Chronic health conditions indeed.

I suppose the zoo and the press can’t (or won’t) say: “Poor Kashin finally had to be killed after suffering for more than two painful decades on unnatural flooring in an artificial environment thousands of miles away from home.”

Deadly battles should be unavoidable. Kashin didn’t have to battle for her life in a zoo. She was forced to by humans.

It’s time for everyone to tell it like it is.

Blogging off,


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