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12 Images Ringling Bros. Doesn't Want You to See

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Posted September 29, 2014 by Lily Trahan

If there’s one thing Ringling Bros. circus has proved over the years, it’s that it’s the cruelest show on Earth. Here are 12 things that Ringling Bros. doesn’t want you to know:

1. The circus tears babies away from their mothers.

When they are 18 to 22 months old, baby elephants are taken from their mothers’ sides by throwing a rope around their necks rodeo-style and tethering them to “anchor” elephants.

At around 21 months old, baby elephants are dragged away from their mothers, who have to be restrained. In the wild, males stay with their mothers until they’re teenagers and female elephants stay with their mothers their entire lives.

2. “Breaking” elephants really means “breaking their spirits.”

Baby elephants are forced to stand on a concrete floor for about 23 hours a day for up to six months, unable to lie down or even turn around.

Baby elephants are forced to stand on a concrete floor for about 23 hours a day for up to six months, unable to lie down or even turn around. Does this sound fair to you? 🙁

3. Trainers use bullhooks, ropes, and electric prods.

At Ringling Bros., baby elephants learn to fear bullhooks from a very young age.

Baby elephants learn to fear bullhooks from a very young age.

4. Training goes unmonitored.

Baby elephant training is not monitored by any agency of any kind.

The elephants cry out, but there is NO ONE there to help them. Baby elephant training is not monitored by any agency of any kind.

5. Elephants spend most of their lives in chains.

The only life these elephants will know will be a life of punishment, pain, and suffering in boxcars, circus tents, and parking lots.

When they aren’t performing, elephants are confined to chains.

6. Elephants travel in boxcars like these for up to 100 hours straight.

Elephants travel in boxcars like these for up to 100 hours straight.

The doors are barely bigger than they are.

7. Elephants are beaten for meaningless shows.

Elephants are beaten for meaningless shows.

8. The wounds on this elephant are clearly visible.

Trainers usually cover them up with “Wonder Dust” so that inspectors can’t see them.

Trainers usually cover them up with “Wonder Dust” so that inspectors can’t see them.

9. Ringling paid a $270,000 fine for violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

Ringling paid a $270,000 fine for violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).© Amy Meyer
© Amy Meyer

 It’s the largest fine EVER paid by an animal exhibitor in the history of the AWA. Can we say CRAY?!

10. Ringling’s abuse lasts a lifetime.

Multiple elephant experts have found that the elephant Karen is crippled and suffering from arthritis, but she is still on the road with Ringling today.

11. Protests pop up almost everywhere that Ringling goes.

Drive by almost any Ringling Bros. show, and this is what you’ll almost certainly see.

Drive by almost any Ringling Bros. show, and this is what you’ll almost certainly see.

12. Even kids know about Ringling’s abuse.

The excitement around “the cruelest show on Earth” is nearly gone, as more and more people speak out against Ringling’s barbaric practices every day.

The excitement around “the cruelest show on Earth” is nearly gone, as more and more people speak out against Ringling’s barbaric practices every day.

How to help: 

Never go to any circus that uses animals, and urge your friends and family to stay away, too. Share this to expose the truth about Ringling Bros.

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