The Lone Elephants

The Lone Elephants

Elephants are highly intelligent and sentient (self-aware) beings. They develop life-long bonds with family and/or friends just as humans do. Elephants suffer severe depression, extreme boredom, zoochosis and many exhibit self-harming behaviors like chewing on their metal bars or banging their heads against their concrete walls from being in absolute isolation. To be in a zoo without any companionship, is not any different than a criminal sentenced to solitary confinement, except the elephant didn’t commit any crime. We consider a person in solitary confinement for years as undue malice and cruelty - mentally and physically. Why is this not applied to ALL sentient beings?

 For years people have advocated and pushed for change of elephants living alone. Currently, rules concerning captive elephants in zoos in many countries, including ours, dictates that elephants may no longer be allowed to be in complete isolation. Unfortunately, these wanted changes have either been slow in coming, or "excused" based on the notion that the elephant is "too old" or "physical hardship due to chronic conditions" or "too engrained living alone that he/she cannot be integrated with other elephants" or in some countries/zoos, there are few regulations regarding how captive elephants are cared for.

 In a recently published article (February 2022) by National Geographic, the toll of isolation and being a lone elephant is evident. Elephants suffer. Here is the link to this important article "Nothing to do, Nowhere to go"

 Sanctuaries take in elephants all the time that have come from horrific physical/mental abuse, have TB, severe health issues related to their abuse and/or captivity (ie: chronic very painful foot ailments - joints, malnutrition, wounds. blindness, disabled, and advanced arthritis) and even some that lived their entire lives alone (ie: Nosey and Kaavan) and some elephants that are quite elderly, rescued from their life of hard labor or entertainment late in life (ie: H'Blu - age 62 , Noi Nah - age 70, Raju - age 50) and have integrated just fine and are quite social with other elephants. 

 Many zoos world-wide (United States included) continue to keep elephants in small, concrete and/or totally inadequate enclosures and completely alone without another elephant for companionship.

 Some of these elephants are older than you, or the same age as your children. Imagine living to age 45 without ever talking to another soul, never seeing another of your own kind, and living in total isolation, lack of stimulus, concrete, sadness, physical pain from living conditions, and mental decline/mental stress. Elephants need other elephants, space to roam and natural habitats. Right now they are merely existing, NOT LIVING.

 Some of the elephants listed have links to petitions where you can help. Other have links to more information about the elephant's plight.

 Below are zoos and parks with their one lone elephant:


Name: Lucy
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 46
Years Alone (as of 2022): 45
Location: Edmonton Valley Zoo, Alberta, Canada
The Story: Save Lucy Website
Facebook - Lucy Group (LEAP)


Name: Indu
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 50
Years Alone (as of 2022): 1
Location: Phoenix  Zoo, Arizona, United States
The Story:

Largest Privately Owned Zoo in the United States.
Reba died March 2020
Sheena died November 2021-
21 years at this zoo)


Name: Anne 
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 62
Years Alone (as of 2022): 11
Location: Longleat Safari Park, United Kingdom
The Story: Former abused circus elephant
Action for Elephants U.K.
Facebook Group - Anne Needs Elephants


Name: Lammie
Species: African
Age (as of 2022): 44
Years Alone (as of 2022): 4
Location: Johannesburg Zoo, South Africa
The Story: (suffers from severe depression and grief) - lost all her family and her companion, Kinkel, died in September 2018
Sad Story of Lammie

HAPPY (left) / PATTY (right)
Neither Happy or Patty socialize together and are kept separately at the Zoo.

Name: Happy
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 51
Years Alone (as of 2022): 16
Location: Bronx Zoo, New York, United States
The Story:

September 12, 2019:

In Defense of Animals (IDAUSA) filed Article 78 petition against New York City and are suing the Bronx Zoo over the treatment of their remaining elephants.

September 19, 2019:
Bronx Supreme Court heard 5 hours of oral arguments to uphold the Habeas Corpus petition. A 2nd hearing is scheduled for October 21, 2019. Happy was granted Habeas Corpus Order in November 2018 and it's the FIRST historic given to an elephant.

December 17 2020:
Appeals court in New York denied the claim. Their reasoning was simple – Happy cannot claim legally enforceable rights under existing law. This is because Happy is an elephant.

In 2022, the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, will hear the first argument ever made in the nation that such protections should be extended to an animal.

Times Article Happy the Elephant Lawsuit
Non Human Rights Project

Name: Patty
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 52
Years Alone (as of 2022): 4
Location: Bronx Zoo, New York, United States
The Story: Maxine died in 2018


Name: Vishwamali (Mali)
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 50
Years Alone (as of 2022): 47
Location: Manila Zoo, Philippines
The Story: Sri Lankan elephant gifted to the Phillipines when she was 3 years old. 
Her enclosure was recently enlarged with an added pool. 
YouTube about Mali
Philippine Star Article


Name: Asha
Species: African
Age (as of 2022): 38
Years Alone (as of 2022): 32
Location: Natural Bridge Zoo, Virginia, North America
The Story:

At Natural Bridge Zoo, Asha spends hours circling her yard, grazing quietly.   

Veterinarian Philip Ensley, who worked with elephants at San Diego Zoo for nearly 30 years, visited the zoo in September to observe her and assess her health for the nonprofit Free All Captive Elephants (FACE) one of many animal advocacy groups that has criticized Asha’s conditions.

In a private report shared with National Geographic, he noted that Asha swayed back and forth, shifted her weight off certain limbs (potentially indicating arthritis or joint disease, which are common in captive elephants), and appeared “unstimulated” and “detached.”

“It is inappropriate in the field of care and management of captive elephants to keep a female alone,” he concluded in the report. The lack of a companion “is causing Asha to suffer.”  

Asha in 7th Worst Zoo in North America


Name: Ely
Species: African
Age (as of 2022): 32
Years Alone (as of 2022): 10
Location: San Juan de Aragon Zoo, Mexico (former circus elephant)
The Story: Aragon Zoo purchased Ely in 2002
Facebook - Ely


Name: Twiggy (aka: Susan)
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 55
Years Alone (as of 2022): 25
Location: Belgrade Zoo, Serbia
The Story: Tiny Lone Zoo Enclosure


Name: Shankar
Species: African
Age (as of 2022): 24
Years Alone (as of 2022): 17
Location: National Zoological Park (formally Delhi Zoo), New Delhi, India
The Story:

Chained upwards 17 hours a day and beaten. Livng in a small enclosure
Shankar's Plight


Name: Mundi
Species: African
Age (as of 2022): 39
Years Alone (as of 2022): 34
Location: Mayaguez Zoo (Juan A. Rivero Zoo),
Puerto Rico
The Story: Mundi has been alone she she arrived at the zoo in 1988. After Hurricane Maria in 2017, EAI (Elephant Aid International) founded by Carol Buckley, had a contract with Puerto Rico government to take custody of Mundi and relocate her to ERNA. In February 2019, the contract was suddenly cancelled by Department of Natural Resources in Puerto Rico. EAI flew to Puerto Rico to appear in court to find out if the contract cancellation was legal. There is no update past March 2019 concerning EAI, the contract or having Mundi relocated.


Name: Horace
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 17
Years Alone (as of 2022): 10
Location: Kyiv Zoo, Ukraine
The Story:

Horace came to the zoo in 2012 from Rostov Zoo, Russia
Drindl, the female Asian elephant, died in 2004. Boy, the 39 year old Asian elephant, was poisoned to death in 2010. 

UPDATE: currently his life is at risk. His keeper is sleeping with him inside his enclosure and Horace is on sedatives to try to keep him calm from the blasts and explosions from the invasion from Russia into Ukraine.

To learn an extensive amount of information about LONE ELEPHANTS in JAPAN please read this report by Dr. Keith Lindsay

Website: Solitary Elephants in Japan Report
(115 pages PDF Download):

There is a 2021 Downloadable Update:
2021 Update Report

Japan has the most lone elephants in solitary captivity. 


Name: Miyako
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 49
Years Alone (as of 2022): 48
Location: Utsunomiya Zoo, Japan
The Story: Born in 1973, arrived in Japan when 6 months old. She's been alone her entire life.
Miyako's Story


Name: Teru
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 44
Years Alone (as of 2022): 22
Location: Yuki Park Zoo, Japan
The Story: Mimi died in 2000
Last Update 2019


Name: Sunny
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 43
Years Alone (as of 2022): 33
Location: Nomi Ishikawa Zoo, Japan
The Story: About Sunny
YouTube - Sunny


Name: Mac
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 30
Years Alone (as of 2022): 8
Location: Kobe Oiji Zoo, Japan
The Story: Born in 1992 - Circus Knie in Switzerland
Came to Japan Zoo in 1995
Separated from companion Zuze since 2014


Name: Lala
Species: African
Age (as of 2022): 40
Years Alone (as of 2022): 4
Location: Tohoku Safari Park, Fukushima, Japan
The Story:


Name: Mao
Species: African
Age (as of 2022): 20
Years Alone (as of 2022): 4
Location: Morioka City Zoological Park, Iwate Prefecture, south of Misawa 
The Story: Death of Taro (her mate) in 2018
The zoo is trying to artificially inseminate her


Name: Oshi
Species: African
Age (as of 2022): 51
Years Alone (as of 2022): 33
Location: Izu Animal Kingdom, Higashiizu, Japan
The Story:


Name: Midori
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 23
Years Alone (as of 2022): 8
Location: Miyazaki City Phoenix Zoo, Japan
The Story: Death of Taiyo (male elephant) in 2014
Was sent to Kobe Oiji Zoo to mate with Mac in 2018.
In 2019, returned to Miyazaki City Phoenix Zoo


Name: Fuko
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 43
Years Alone (as of 2022): 14
Location: Nagano Chausuyama Zoo, Japan
The Story: Death of companion Dumbo in 2008


Name: Fuku-Chan (Fuku)
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 24
Years Alone (as of 2022): 21
Location: Fukuyama Municipal Zoo, Japan
The Story: Has TB- cannot be with other elephants that do not have it.
Solitary entire life at zoo since age 3


Name: Fujiko
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 54
Years Alone (as of 2022): 40
Location: Okazaki-City Higashi Koen (Zoo), Japan
The Story: Fujiko moved to this zoo from the
Fukuyama Municipal Zoo, home to Fuku-Chan, in
Her keeper of 35 years retired in 2019 to further add to her isolation and loneliness.


In Memoriam:


Name: Hamako
Species: Asian
Age (as of 2022): 51
Years Alone (as of 2022): 14
Location: Hamamatsu City Zoo, Japan
Died: September 15, 2022


The Story:

Arrived at the zoo at age 1 in 1972. He had been alone since the death of companion and best friend Miyo in 2008. Cause of death is unknown but he was unable to stand the night prior to his death. His keeper found him next morning passed away.



Name: Merry
Species: Asian
Age: 52
Years Alone: 50
Location: Ikeda Zoo, Japan
Died: February 2016
The Story: Brought to the zoo when she was 2 years old Lived alone in this small concrete enclosure her entire life
Died of foot problems


Name: Hanako
Species: Asian
Age: 69
Years Alone: 62
Location: Inokashira Park Zoo, Japan
Died: May 2016
The Story: Oldest elephant in Japan
Hanako's Life


Name: Izumi
Species: Asian
Age: 61
Years Alone: 53
Location: Kiryugaoka Amusement Park Zoo, Japan
Died: April 2017
The Story: Arrived at the zoo in 1964 and solitary her entire time there
Died when she couldn't stand up


Name: Hiroko
Species: Asian
Age: 48
Years Alone: 4
Location: Osaka Tennoji Zoo, Japan
Died: January 2018
The Story: Solitary since death of companion Haruko in 2014
Died of severe foot problems and died in tremendous pain.


Name: Flavia
Species: Asian
Age: 47
Years Alone: 43
Location: Cordoba Zoo, Spain
Died: March 2019
The Story: Flavia's Story


Name: Himeko
Species: Asian
Age: 43
Years Alone: 26
Location: Himeji City Zoo, Japan
Died: October 2020
The Story: Arrived in1994 and solitary entire time at zoo
Died of foot related issues


Name: Mary
Species: Asian
Age: 31
Years Alone: 13
Location: Tokushima City Zoo, Japan
Died: July 2021
The Story: Arrived from Sri Lanka in 1996
Solitary since the death of Ranga in 2008
Died from unknown causes









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