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A Reflection on An Apology to Elephants the HBO Documentary Film Part 2

Lessons Learned From An Apology to Elephants (continued)

The following points are direct quotations from the various experts featured in the documentary.

  • “It’s just horrible the elephants live in fear their whole lives, there is no happy moment for them.” Cause they are just waiting for the next beating, that’s why they stay in line that’s why they stay cooperative.” Jeff Kinzley, Elephant Manager, Oakland Zoo
  • A breaking down period goes on, breaking the spirit of the animal in order to be able to control them. (Referring to training baby elephants to do tricks for the Circus.) Jeff Kinzley, Elephant Manager, Oakland Zoo
  • If I had an implement that caused pain I wouldn’t always have to hit them. So… you don’t necessarily have to hit them or touch them, you just swing the (bull) hook and you put it near their ear and they know that if they don’t do it there’s pain. They move away from the pain and that’s the whole idea.” (Referring to Circus elephants.)  Ed Stewart, PAWS Sanctuary
  • ”We want these elephants to have this feeling like they are in the wild, that is the only reason that we do this.” Jeff Kinzley, Elephant Manager, Oakland Zoo
  • “It would be great for them to be out on the open savannah from where they came from, roaming around with their family. But the bottom line is they are not and they are here and we need to take care of them and we have the job and the duty to give these elephants the best life that they can possibly have.” Jeff Kinzley, Elephant Manager, Oakland Zoo
  •  “Elephants are a migratory animal, they travel long distances, there’s a need, a drive to do some type of movement so many of them develop this back and forth movement, which is the limitation of the chains.” Colleen Kinzley, Curator Oakland Zoo
  • “They never totally lose it (the swaying), it just keeps them from going crazy. It releases endorphins in their brain, eventually their body is telling them look this is all you have.” Ed Stewart, PAWS Sanctuary
  • It’s not our world, we’re doing a damn good job of destroying it, but we share it with a lot of species that deserve to live and we are going to realize how rich it is when we’ve lost it all.” Dr. Mel Richardson, Captive Wildlife Veterinarian
  • “I have mixed feelings about babies. Elephants need babies in their lives to be fulfilled as elephants. But do we want to perpetuate a population of elephants in North America for entertainment.” Dr. Joyce Poole, Elephant Biologist, Director, Elephant Voices
  • “If we can’t even heed a lesson from the elephants  I just hate to think where we’re headed.” Dr. Joyce Poole, Elephant Biologist, Director, Elephant Voices
  • “We have 6.5 acres & they’re just able to walk & really get out there and exercise and wear these feet like they should be worn. We want these elephants to have the feeling of being in the wild, to have that feeling here. I mean that’s the only reason that we do this.” Jeff Kinzley, Elephant Manager, Oakland Zoo
  • “Unfortunately it took us 25 years to really understand there is a better way.” Jeff Kinzley, Elephant Manager, Oakland Zoo (Referring to the Oakland Zoo’s method of ‘protected contact’  as the preferred management style over the archaic, dangerous and cruel ‘free contact’ version which is in existence in the majority of zoos, even today.)
HBO Documentary Films copyright

HBO Documentary Films copyright

  • A special thanks to all those around the world who take part in Elephant Conservation including the participants in this film:
  • Dr. Joel Parrot, Director, Oakland Zoo
  • Jeff Kinzley, Elephant Manager, Oakland Zoo
  • Colleen Kinzley, Curator, Oakland Zoo  

An Apology to Elephants              Executive producers Jane Wagner and Lily Tomlin 2012 HBO Documentary

photo credit: promotional poster from An Apology to Elephants

See also: An Apology to Elephants Twitter

 

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