Buttonwood Park Zoo Elephant Management Plan
As a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Buttonwood Park Zoo is required to document its management plan, how Ruth and Emily are restrained for medical care, and how they are
trained. The following documents were submitted to the AZA as part of the zoo's 2013 application for re-certification by AZA.
In AC-22, the zoo details how it puts its elephants in chains to restrain them for medical and other purposes.
AC-23 describes how Ruth & Emily are trained and what a new keeper must do. The zoo uses the dominance method of training where the elephant must be taught that the keeper is dominant. Buttonwood Park Zoo keepers still use bullhooks. This section also describes the need for separation between the two elephants. The zoo has known for years that they don't get along.
AC-24, Elephant Behavior Profile, describes the psychological profile of both elephants. For several years, the zoo claimed that Ruth wouldn't get along with the herd at The Elephant Sanctuary. Read what they actually know to be true--that Ruth would get adapt easily if she were moved to a new facility.