Inokashira Park Zoo in Tokyo: Hanako lives for 61 years alone in a concrete prison! Give her a real life or send her to a sanctuary!
I have some sad news to share with you. Hanako, Japan’s oldest and loneliest elephant, has died. After meeting with animal welfare experts and receiving the Care2 petition with over 469,000 signatures, the Inokashira Park Zoo had agreed to make modifications to Hanako’s enclosure so that she’d be more comfortable. Unfortunately, she died before they could make the changes.
Hanako is a 69-year-old Asian elephant who has lived in shameful conditions at the Inokashira Park Zoo in Tokyo for the past 67 years. She was transported in 1949 from Thailand to Japan when she was just two years old, to what would become her life-long prison. And ‘prison,’ is not an exaggeration.
Blogger Ulara Nakagawa saw Hanako while visiting the zoo, and was shocked to see the conditions of her confinement. Ulara writes in her blog that it looks like “one of the cruellest, most archaic zoos in the modern world.” Hanako is completely alone in a tiny cement enclosure with nothing to comfort her or provide stimulation. She just stands there, appearing almost lifeless , since there is nothing else for her to do. It was beyond painful for Ulara to take in Hanako’s pitiful situation.
To add insult to injury, the Inokashira Park Zoo is located in one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in Tokyo and part of a public park known for being the home of the popular Ghibli Museum. This means that hundreds of thousands of global tourists have seen Hanako in her concrete prison and done nothing to help her.
Rest In Peace Hanako