This group says the Phoenix Zoo should give up its last elephant

By Steve Goldstein
Published: Tuesday, April 5, 2022 - 11:51am

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Phoenix Zoo
An elephant plays with a puzzle feeder.

A new list by the advocacy group In Defense of Animals ranks the Phoenix Zoo as one of the worst zoos in the country in how it cares for elephants.

The Phoenix Zoo had never appeared on the organization's list before, but the 2022 version was a bit different, as its focus was on zoos that have been well-regarded in the industry. In Defense of Animals argues generally that elephants would be better off in sanctuaries than in zoos.

Brittany Michelson is a captive animal campaigner. The Show spoke with her about In Defense of Animals' list. She began by explaining concerns about how elephants are treated in captivity.

To get a response to Michelson's comments, The Show also spoke with one of the Phoenix Zoo's elephant keepers, Stevie Merner, who began by explaining her reaction to criticism of how the zoo takes care of elephants.

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