Meet Hanako, Japan's Oldest Elephant
To Japan now, where an international effort is underway to help improve quality of life for the country's oldest elephant. The 69-year-old female named Hanako has spent almost all of her life in captivity at the Tokyo Zoo.
An animal rights activist criticized Hanako's conditions in a blog post after visiting the zoo. The posting sparked an online petition, garnering more than 400,000 signatures. The "Help Hanako" campaign proposes moving Hanako to a sanctuary in Thailand or having her current surroundings improved.
The zoo's deputy director says Hanako is being well-cared for and that a move is unfeasible. He says Hanako's solo confinement is for safety reasons, but the zoo has agreed to meet with the activist who made the initial blog post.
Online Game: San Diego Zoo, Elephant Odyssey http://www.elephantodyssey.com/game
Website Article: BBC Nature Wildlife, Asian Elephant http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Asian_Elephant
Website Article: Thai Elephant Conservation Center, Thailand's Elephants http://www.thailandelephant.org/en/thaielephant.html
Website Article: National Geographic, Zoo http://education.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/zoo/