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Depressed Elephant Found Living In A Concrete Cell For 61 Years

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Hanako is the name of a 68 year old, Asian Indian elephant that has lived her entire life in a cement enclosure, without foliage, companionship, minimal shade and nothing to do. Zoos generally are not the best places to keep large animals but some Zoos like the Inokashira Park Zoo in Tokyo is a disgrace.

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Image Credit: FLICKR/UNIUNITWINS

When she was two years old, she was given to Japan, from Thailand, as a gift and in 1954 was transferred from the Ueno Zoo to the Inokashira Park Zoo in Tokyo. This Zoo is situated in the most affluent part of Tokyo which makes the treatment of this elephant even more disgusting.

[fvplayer src=”http://youtube.com/watch?v=mGmriINtf7o”]

She was separated from the other elephants after a drunken man entered the enclosure one night and he was accidentally trampled to death. Then one of the zoo keepers was accidentally stepped on and he died. Hanako was taken to this cement enclosure and chains were put around her front legs. The new keeper removed the chains two months later but she was not returned to the other elephants.

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Image Credit: FLICKR/UNIUNITWINS

Hanako has spent her whole life in this cement enclosure, alone, without grass or trees, very little shade and no companionship. She became emaciated from stress and has numerous health problems from these cruel conditions. Her feet are badly cracked and she is skin and bone. She has been a prisoner all her life.

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Image Credit: FLICKR/UNIUNITWINS

The only thing she has to amuse herself with is a length of rope, which she swishes back and forth for hours on end. She is lethargic and depressed and the doctors know this situation has to change. She is understandably having mood swings and if she isn’t removed soon, there will be a tragic situation.

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Image Credit: FLICKR/UNIUNITWINS

The Elephant Freedom Fighters started a petition on Care2 asking the Japanese Prime Minister to release Hanako and allow her to live out her remaining days, in relative peace and happiness, in an elephant sanctuary.

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Image Credit: FLICKR/UNIUNITWINS

Over 385,000 people have signed the petition so far but many more will be needed to get action to free Hanako. Please go to the site and sign the petition TODAY!

It seems like it is going to take an effort to spark enough interest in this, so please go and sign the petition, and then share this article so we can all try to free Hanako and get her a few years of peace.

[h/t The Dodo]

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