Friends Of Ruth & Emily

Ruth and Emily, two Asian elephants, have been held at Buttonwood Park Zoo, New Bedford, MA for the past 30 years. Deprived of a natural life, both exhibit abnormal behaviors that result from living most of their lives indoors in a concrete barn. The Friends of Ruth & Emily are dedicated to helping them make it to The Elephant Sanctuary, where they can be elephants, not specimens on exhibit.



Help us get justice for Ruth & Emily!


Your generous tax-deductible donation will offset the cost of bringing suit against the City of New Bedford, MA, owners of Buttonwood Park Zoo.


For 30 years, Ruth & Emily have been crammed into a small barn for 16 hours a day, every day. That means that they can't avoid walking, standing and sleeping in their own (considerable) urine and feces. They also dust in it, leading to painful staphylococcus and streptococcus infections.


Just look at the steel bars in the barn, making the space even smaller. Photos taken from inside of the barn show that the stalls are just 20 feet by 40 feet. That's barely enough room to turn around for a 10-foot long elephant!


When outside they had a mere 12,000 s.f. The "expansion of their habitat" increased that to less than half an acre.


This has led to a dysfunctional relationship, what BPZoo euphemistically calls a "challenging pairing." Emily continues to attack Ruth. Although the #BPZoo denies this, the Zoo's own records show over 30 attacks in 10 years-at one time biting off 6 1/2" of Ruth's tail.


It's time for both elephants to get the space, climate and natural diet that the Sanctuary has to offer.


Click here for the Legal Fund for Ruth & Emily GoFundMe campaign. There's no minimum, and evyery donation counts!


Now you can pay with PayPal or a credit or debit card directly!

Just click on the button below.

Why Sanctuary?

Photo credit: The Elephant Sanctuary in TN
Photo credit: The Elephant Sanctuary in TN

Ruth's multiple health crises proves that The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, TN is where these elephants belong. There they will have appropriate medical care 24/7 all year long. They have the appropriate equipment, staffing and facilities to keep Ruth (and Emily!) healthy.


Click here  for a comparison of benefits between BPZoo and the Sanctuary.


Both elephants would do much better in a warm climate, with temps in the 70s by February! That means more time outside. And thousands of acres, not just thousands of square feet, to  roam, relax in, and explore!


Did you know...

Elephants are keystone species--their ability to disperse seeds through their 2-day digestive process combined with their 20 hours of roaming per day replants their native habitat and creates food pathways for them to follow in the future.


Just standing in a small enclosure waiting to be fed cannot match this ancient and innate desire to roam.


Elephants are also endangered species--with fewer than 30,000 Asian elephants left on the planet. 


Keeping elephants in zoos shortens their lives by up to 20 years according to studies in Europe and the U.S..


An elephant's lifespan is 70 years, much like a human's lifespan. Even the #BPZoo acknowledges that a captive elephant's average lifespan is 46 years.


#BPZoo claims Ruth & Emily are "geriatric" and yet they are really middle-aged at 58 (Ruth) and 54 (Emily).