News & Announcements
Environmental Quality Improvement for Singly-housed Elephants
The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) is deeply engaged in and committed to realizing species-appropriate animal care that also meets individual needs in compliance with the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals.
This holds true for elephants. To ensure optimal welfare we believe that elephants should be cared for and housed in a meaningful group context, as they are highly social animals and their communicational and physical interactions among individuals are essential to welfare.
However, currently several Japanese institutions are caring for singly-housed elephants.
We are committed to review the needs for each individual elephant to assess and determine what is in his or her best interest. JAZA members will strive to transfer and integrate singly-housed elephants to a group structure where possible. Some elephants who have lived alone for a very long time might need longer habituation time to new and different environments, as well as social companions. Novelties can cause unnecessary distress, which we can prevent by considering the individual’s best interest.
By observing behavior and interactions, as well as considering their individual character, we intend to slowly integrate many of the singly-housed elephants. The elephants in singly-housed environments shall be provided with extensive environmental enrichment programs, offering choice, control, and complexity.
Improving the environmental quality of singly-housed elephants is not a simple problem that can be solved by individual institutions’ efforts alone. JAZA will be working with them with the leadership of its Elephant Management Committee
We are committed to improving the welfare of elephants and appreciate your continued understanding and support.
Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums
December 27, 2017
Updated: January 31, 2018
Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SEAZA and KAZA
In order to further the agreement reached through September meeting on the coalition of regional zoological associations in Asia, Dr. Yutaka Fukuda, chair of JAZA, attended the annual conference of the South East Asian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (SEAZA) in Bogor, Indonesia in November 2016. Taking advantage of this opportunity, Dr. Fukuda and SEAZA president Dr. Phan Viet Lam agreed and signed, on 3 November, a Memorandum of Understanding for establishing friendly relations between the two associations.
A month later, Dr. Fukuda flew to Chungju, Korea, where the members of Korean Association of Zoos and Aquariums (KAZA) got together for its annual conference, and signed with KAZA president Dr. Kisup Lee a Memorandum of Understanding for establishing friendly relations between the two associations.
SEAZA which was born in 1990 now links 70 institutions in 14 countries of the South-east region of Asia. Its members are Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. As for KAZA, its establishment dates back to 1985, now holds 15 zoos and 5 aquariums in the country.
Objectives of signing these memorandums with zoological associations are to establish with every member-country and every member-institution much closer and friendly relations for the species conservation through exchange of animals or breeding loan, for further collaborative work to level-up breeding technique, population management, animal welfare and for pursuing the common interests/targets.
Having signed these two new MOUs, which followed May 1990 agreement with Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, JAZA will make full use of the good relations and cooperative framework with overseas institutions to preserve biodiversity, to improve animal welfare and management and to promote/accelerate community-level Information-Orientation-Communication (IOC) activities.
Photo-1：MOU signing ceremony in Bogor (Dr. Fukuda at left, Dr. Lam at right)
Photo-2：MOU signing ceremony in Chungju (Dr. Fukuda at left, Dr. Lee at right)