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Animal rights group condemns zoo’s use of elephant bullhooks

January 9, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A California-based animal rights group is criticizing Roger Williams Park Zoo’s use of an elephant training tool known as a bullhook.

The nonprofit In Defense of Animals released a ranking Tuesday naming the Providence zoo as one of the 10 worst in the country for elephants. The Providence Journal reports the listing was prompted by the zoo’s use of bullhooks, sharpened rods used to guide and manage captive elephants.

Rhode Island banned the use of bullhooks in 2016, but the legislation targets circuses and travelling shows — not zoos.

Zoo Executive Director Jeremy Goodman says the bullhooks are needed to safely handle and command elephants and to help provide veterinary care.

In Defense of Animals official Laura Bridgeman says the zoo’s exemption from state law prompted the listing.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

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