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Why The Oregon Zoo Is One Of The Worst Places To Be An Animal

The problems for the Oregon Zoo have been mounting recently, and conditions for the animals just seem to be getting worse:

1. Six monkeys died just three days after arriving at the zoo.

On Friday, the zoo announced that six newly-acquired cotton-top tamarins were found dead in the veterinary medical facility, only three days after they arrived on loan from Harvard University. The zoo blamed "unknown causes" for the deaths.

2. Kutai the orangutan died due to "sloppy" veterinary care.

In December, a male orangutan named Kutai died after receiving several surgeries. Only this week did word break that not only were the zoo veterinarians unprepared for the surgeries, they also didn't immediately reveal all of the details of the animal's death. Kutai's death was blamed on "human error," and led to the firing of both the zoo's director and its chief veterinarian.

3. The zoo refuses to free Packy the old, sick elephant.

Packy the elephant has become something of a celebrity at the Oregon Zoo -- and not in a good way. Currently the oldest male Asian elephant in North America (he's 52), Packy was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2013, and is said to be suffering in his enclosure. Activists have called for Packy to be retired ... to no avail.

4. ...Not to mention all the other elephants.

The Oregon Zoo is infamous for its reputation for bad elephant welfare -- it's become a regular on the annual list of the "Worst Zoos for Elephants." In 2013, the zoo admitted that an elephant born there was actually contractually owned by a company that rents animals for entertainment. And critics have cited that the zoo's eight Asian elephants live in a too-small enclosure and suffer from foot problems due to their concrete floor.

5. The zoo is responsible for the deaths of a lot of animals.

Since the beginning of 2013, 27 of the Oregon Zoo's 329 mammals have died -- including two gibbons, two gazelles, a sea lion and a tiger. The recent deaths have only added to this number, yet little explanation has been given for the surge.

You can sign a petition calling on the Oregon Zoo to retire its elephants here.