Friends of Animals to lead discussion about Swaziland elephants now in captivity at Sedgewick County Zoo

North Wichita, Kansas.

In March of 2016, Friends of Animals fight to prevent a lifetime of captivity inside commercial attractions in the U.S.—including the Sedgewick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas—for 18 Swaziland elephants came to an abrupt and devious end as the three zoos secretly shipped them to their facilities.

They robbed these elephants, most of whom were under the age of 12, of their freedom, families and day in court. 

On Saturday, Jan. 12, Friends of Animals will be hosting a free showing of the HBO documentary “An Apology to Elephants” followed by a discussion about the organization’s legal efforts led by Wildlife Law Program Director Michael Harris. The event will begin at 4 p.m. at Opti-Life, 9758 E 21st St., North Wichita, Kansas.

Charles Siebert, a noted author and educator, will be on hand to discuss his recent investigation into the Swaziland 18, including their capture and relocation to the Dallas, Henry Doorly and Sedgwick County Zoos. A poet, journalist, essayist and contributing writer for The New York Times Sunday Magazine, his work has appeared in a broad array of publications, including The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The New Yorker, Harper’s, Vanity Fair, Outside, Esquire, and Men’s Journal.

Siebert writes extensively about animal behavior and human-animal relationships. He is well known for his New York Times piece, “An Elephant Crackup” in which he provides a depiction of the recent raging and violent acts of the elephants among themselves and toward other species, including humans. He presents an educated explanation to their behaviors. He says elephants are just like us; they have feelings and now are “suffering from a form of chronic stress, a kind of species-wide trauma.”