Seeni the elephant lost her mother and family in the terrible elephant culls of South Africa twenty years ago. It was a time when elephants were considered a threat to the well being of other wildlife and so they were killed mercilessly, to decrease their populations.
But these slaughters left Seeni and other elephants like her without the care of their mother. And because of that, she never learned how to take care of the baby elephants she would one day give birth to. But even though the Pittsburgh Zoo knew Seeni wouldn’t know how to care for her young, they bred her anyways.
Seeni had given birth once before, when she was held captive in a Botswanan „nature reserve“ where she was used as a riding elephant for tourists. Her first born didn’t even last a month.
Activists believe Seeni has dealt with too much trauma and lacks the necessary mothering skills and that she should never be bred again. Doing so could have terrible consequences for her to-be-offspring and on Seeni herself.