Protests have been catalysts for social change in South Africa. Protests in the struggle against apartheid, to oppose a system which marginalised and oppressed black South Africans, is the evidence to the power of protest to bring about change.
An opinion is the position people take on a particular issue, public opinion represents the collective preferences of a group of people. In South Africa, the right to freedom of expression is viewed as a pillar of democracy, the freedom of expression, opinion and information is also protect in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, public opinion is fundamentally necessary in a functioning democracy.
PROTESTS DEMANDING THE RECOGNITION OF THE EXISTING RIGHTS OF ELEPHANTS IN CAPTIVITY
A wealth of established scientific discoveries and anecdotal evidence indicates that certain species of animals possess the qualities of consciousness, and therefore also possess naturally occurring rights. Therefore it is not up to humans to bestow rights onto these animals but simply to recognise and respect these existing rights, through moral and legal frameworks.
Elephants are increasingly understood as suffering from psychological, emotional and physical pain. Elephants in zoos frequently display stereotypic behaviours which signify underlying psychological distress and are unseen in wild populations.
The more that is learned about the myriad ways our behaviour, lifestyles and attitudes negatively impact animals, the greater our moral obligation towards them must become.
HISTORY OF PUBLIC PROTESTS ABOUT THE ELEPHANTS LIVING AT THE JOHANNESBURG ZOO, SOUTH AFRICA
FREE LAMMIE PROTESTERS WANT SAD LONELY JOBURG ZOO ELEPHANT TO BE RELOCATED
20th September 2018
“We all feel very passionate about this, Boycott Divestment Sanction South Africa Director Mohammed Desai told News24 outside the zoo entrance. She has been here for 39 years and was born in captivity. There are expert conservationists that are calling for her release. We support the call for Lammie to be taken to a sanctuary where she can spend the rest of her days. As sentient beings reliant on family bonds, elephants in captivity display behavioural abnormalities, suffer from diseases, disabilities and have notably shorter lives. The EMS Foundation has offered to find a suitable sanctuary for Lammie and to cover all the costs of her relocation.”
PRESSURE MOUNTS FOR JOBURG ZOO TO FREE LAMMIE THE LONELY ELEPHANT
1st November 2018
“The NSPCA, Ban Animal Trading, the EMS Foundation and the Human Society International – Africa have rejected the Zoo’s plans to introduce another elephant as this would necessitate breaking up a bonded group with associated trauma and merely introduce another elephant to a sterile existence in the zoo.
Some of the groups are negotiating with the Zoo to have Lammie reintroduced into the wild at a reserve where a herd of previously-captive elephants roam freely. The EMS Foundation has offered to cover all the costs for Lammie’s relocation. NSPCA Wildlife Protection Unit Inspector Irinka Schroder said: “the NSPCA would support this initiative,” provided all welfare concerns are adequately addressed.”
“A global petition to free Lammie has acquired more than 100 000 signatures and a program of peaceful demonstrations will continue at the Zoo premises with BAN ANIMAL TRADING stating “there will be more protesting in the weeks to come.” BAT has also called on members of the public to join in the cause by writing to the Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba asking him to agree to relocate Lammie.
General Manager of the Zoo Tshepang Makganye said: “the Zoo is against Lammie’s relocation as educating the less privileged to understand our natural heritage is part of saving the elephant population from being killed.”
It is however unclear how keeping one animal in captivity will save any wild elephants.
Elephant specialists disagree with Tshepang Makganye: “Watching a lone depressed elephant in a barren enclosure does nothing to educate people that do not have access to a game reserve. Keeping an elephant like Lammie in a captive zoo facility does nothing to promote South Africa in the light it should – as a progressive conservation authority” said elephant specialist Dr Marion Garai.””
HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL URGES THE PUBLIC TO SIGN A PETITION TO FREE LAMMIE
12 December 2018
Animal protection groups including Humane Society International, the EMS Foundation and Elephant Reintegration Trust have joined hands to persuade the Johannesburg Zoo to more Lammie the elephant to a rewinding sanctuary.
HSI urges all its supporters to take action by signing a petition urging authorities to close the elephant exhibition at the Zoo and relocate Lammie.
“The Zoo has resisted moving Lammie and has even suggested that it may acquire another elephant. This would be a missed opportunity to do the right thing for Lammie, and a mistake, as the Zoo is not able to meet the needs of elephants and should not have elephants on exhibit” said HSI media and outreach manager Leozette Roode.
Spokesperson for the Johannesburg Zoo Jenny Moodley said the rumours about the Joburg Zoo acquiring another elephant are false. “We have not made a decision to secure a companion for Lammie at this stage.”
THE PETITION SITE CALLING FOR LAMMIE’S IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM THE JOHANNESBURG ZOO
“While the 39 year old elephant Lammie languishes alone after the death of her partner, Kinkel, internationally accredited elephant experts have publicly expressed their concern for her wellness and have called for her immediate release.”
141 409 supporters signed this petition
CHANGE.ORG PETITION FREE LAMMIE THE ELEPHANT AT THE JOBURG ZOO
“Lammie the elephant has been in captivity at the Johannesburg Zoo for the past 39 years. A male elephant named Kinkel who was Lammie’s companion died recently due to “unconfirmed causes”. This is not the first tragedy that captive-born Lammie has endured. Both her parents, Jumbo and Dolly who were captured from the wild in the 1970’s died at the Zoo within a year of each other.”
214 239 supporter signed this petition