Bullhooks, antiquated weapons used to control captive elephants, are menacing things — long, heavy wooden rods attached to a halfmoon shaped piece of sharp blade. Obviously, these tools go against all the common sense of animal welfare, and so the Association of Zoos and Aquariums have banned their use, along with many cities and states, including California. That’s why it’s so disappointing that the Monterey Zoo, located in Central California, has continued to abuse and torment their elephants with bullhooks under the guise of “training” them. Make no mistake — bullhooks are a method of negative reinforcement that do nothing to train an animal, but rather terrify them into submission. They are illegal for a reason, but Monterey Zoo thinks it is an exception to the law.
This is not the first time that this nightmare zoo has been found guilty of abusing its elephants. In 2019, two sweet elephants named Kirsty and Paula died within months of each other. Autopsies were performed, and the discoveries were shocking — as a result of poor care, one of the elephants’ “intestinal tissues were rotting away,” and the other was in such bad condition that she likely felt excruciating pain with every movement she made. The Monterey Zoo may claim to love its animals, but the evidence proves quite the opposte. Please use your voice to speak up for these elephants that cannot advocate for themselves. Let’s call on the city of Monterey to shut down the Monterey Zoo and relocate their animals to the safety of sanctuaries!