Sunny the elephant has been alone like this since arriving at the zoo in 1989: 31 years. Sometimes, she spends her whole day locked in this tiny cell at the Nomi Ishikawa Zoo in Japan. With nothing else to do, Sunny tries to explore the walls with her trunk. You can see the extensive rubbing marks on the walls ….from her doing this over and over, for years and years and years.
September 2018: We are happy that the zoo has started to address Sunny’s inappropriate enclosure and husbandry by introducing feeding enrichment. Sunny’s meals are now split into 3-5 smaller portions and hidden throughout her outdoor enclosure—in pipes and tires. Hanging nets also contain grass for her to “forage” and eat. The fact remains that Sunny still spends most of her days locked up in her tiny indoor cell and so more has to be done for her. Sunny’s keeper says that there has been a noticeable decrease in Sunny’s stress and boredom-induced stereotypical swaying behavior since the enrichment began.