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Fuku the elephant has been alone at the Fukuyama City Zoo in Japan for 19 years. She’s been diagnosed with a serious illness—tuberculosis—and cannot be moved to another zoo.


Her keeper does seem to try and keep Fuku occupied with activities that challenge her and keep her active. However, in the winter she’s kept indoors for most of the day (~21 hours) in her indoor stall which appears small, dark and featureless.  



Find out more ways you can start helping Fuku and the other solitary elephants HERE




Mac the elephant is listless in his tiny indoor and outdoor stalls at the Kobe City Zoo in Japan. He faces away from the public, who can approach closely to him. Mac sways and makes chirping sounds but is overall listless and unresponsive to his keepers and the crowds. His keeper forces him to do tricks, such as kneel down for small food offerings. Bullhooks are used by staff to punish him and train him to do such tricks.

Mac is an example of how an elephant can become solitary over time. He arrived at the zoo with a female elephant called Zuze, in 1995 but spent the duration of Zuze’s fourth pregnancy alone. Zuze had been taken to another facility to give birth. Upon her return in 2014, they were kept apart. It is not clear whether the relationship between the two elephants deteriorated in Zuze’s absence, or whether it is function of Mac growing significantly larger, as well as more aggressive.





In July 2018, the female elephant Midori was brought to the Kobe City zoo for breeding with Mac. A year later she returned to the Miyazaki City Zoo. Zuze had a companion for a year and is now alone again. Short videos from the zoo show Mac and Zuze together for brief periods yet in essence Mac is solitary.

Find out how you can start helping Mac and the other solitary elephants HERE


Mac’s tiny outdoor cell at the Kyoto City zoo Japan. (Pictured behind Zuze the elephant’s much larger one.)



Mito the elephant stands in her enclosure bobbing her head continuously at the Kyoto City Zoo in Japan where she has been kept for 41 years. This is a stress-coping behavior seen in animals whose mental and physical needs are not being met.

Before the arrival of four young elephants from Laos in November 2014, she had been alone for nearly 14 years since the death of her companion Tomo in 2001. She is cordoned off from these younger elephants in the zoo with whom she does not respond well to.


Over the past years, the zoo has continued its efforts to introduce Mito to the four juvenile elephants. It seems with success as this recent Tweet (July 2020) by the zoo showing all five elephants together in a group shows.

Find out more ways you can start helping Mito and the other solitary elephants HERE




Sunny the elephant has been alone like this since arriving at the zoo in 1989: 31 years. Sometimes, she spends her whole day locked in this tiny cell at the Nomi Ishikawa Zoo in Japan. With nothing else to do, Sunny tries to explore the walls with her trunk.  You can see the extensive rubbing marks on the walls ….from her doing this over and over, for years and years and years.


SIGN and SHARE the petition to help Sunny 


September 2018: We are happy that the zoo has started to address Sunny’s inappropriate enclosure and husbandry by introducing feeding enrichment. Sunny’s meals are now split into 3-5 smaller portions and hidden throughout her outdoor enclosure—in pipes and tires. Hanging nets also contain grass for her to “forage” and eat. The fact remains that Sunny still spends most of her days locked up in her tiny indoor cell and so more has to be done for her. Sunny’s keeper says that there has been a noticeable decrease in Sunny’s stress and boredom-induced stereotypical swaying behavior since the enrichment began.

January 2019: We deliver our petition to the Ishikawa Zoo for Sunny the elephant, with a whopping +480k signatures.

February 2019:  The Ishikawa Zoo responds to our petition, with a letter from the director including photos of the improvements the zoo has made for Sunny so far.

Find out more ways to help Sunny and the other solitary elephants HERE.


All of the rubbing marks on the walls are from Sunny trying to explore the walls with her trunk – for 31 years.

Himeko – Died 2020

Himeko the elephant has spent 26 years alone in the Himeji City Zoo in, Japan. Her continuous bobbing and swaying is NOT “dancing,” as often parents explain to their children. It’s a common stereotypical behavior, often seen in captive wild animals kept in substandard enclosures. They are often associated with boredom, anxiety, frustration and depression, and they mean that Himeko’s biological, behavioural and social needs are not being met.


Please SIGN and SHARE our new petition to demand the zoo closes down its elephant exhibit!.


December 2020 – Success! There will be no more “Himekos” at the Himeji City zoo! Following the delivery of our petition, we received confirmation directly from the zoo’s director. He acknowledged that his zoo is simply unable to offer elephants the space and social interaction they need. THANK YOU for signing and sharing the petition, which made this possible!

November 2020 – We have delivered our new petition demanding the Himeji City zoo closes down its elephant exhibit with over 100,000 signatures! Thank you for signing and sharing! We will keep you posted as we wait to hear back from the zoo.

Only 2 weeks after delivering our petition (with a staggering half a million of your signatures) to her zoo and other targets Himeko’s health took a turn for the worst and she died on 24 October 2020. It is likely her death is connected to the foot disease she developed at least two years ago.

October 2020 – Our petition for Himeko with over HALF A MILLION signatures is on its way to Japan. Our delivery comes on the heels of receiving updates that Himeko has recently lost weight and appears to be suffering from leg problems. Read up more on our recent Facebook post.

In March 2019, Japanese online newspaper, The Sankei News, publishes an extensive article about how Himeko’s zoo is struggling to refurbish and modernize.


Find out more ways you can start helping the other solitary elephants HERE


Keepers order Himeko to perform, with the use of a bullhook. 


Bullhooks have a sharp hook, which is used to jab an elephant’s most sensitive areas to inflict pain.