Meet Hanako, a female African Elephant, the largest animal on earth. While an adult female African can weigh between 3-5 tons, a male is heavier at 4-7 tons. Elephants eat grasses, fruit, roots, and bark. Elephants are very social animals, and they rely on a social network for survival. Female elephants live in herds with the young while adult males wander on their own.
Hanako was born in Thailand in 1947 and was taken to Inokashira Park, in Tokyo at a young age. She lived there for over 60 years until she passed away.
Ulara Nakagawa visited the zoo last year and shared her experience she had to tell people what she saw. Hanako’s ‘cage’ was bare, no trees, not even any dirt – just concrete! Ulara said that Hanako just stood there swaying, staring. Hanako lived all alone in her concrete cage for 60 years.
Reportedly Hanoka was placed there because she had become violent. Ulara thinks her outbreaks of violence were cries for help, instead, she was chained up.
Ulara’s story sparked some International outrage, but the zoo said they would work with an animal welfare expert and try to improve Hanako’s situation. Too little too late, sixty years is a long time to suffer, to not be allowed to live like an elephant.
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