9 Reasons Elephants Can't Wait Three More Years
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has announced that it plans to phase out the use of elephants in its performances by 2018. This is a great victory, but elephants with Ringling have been abused, chained, and crammed into tiny boxcars for decades and should not be abused for even one more day. Here are nine reasons why Ringling’s elephants should be retired TODAY:
1. Because babies are often separated from their mothers and trained using ropes, bullhooks (sharp instruments that resemble a fireplace poker), and electric prods.
2. Because elephants are beaten with bullhooks repeatedly in order to force them to perform dangerous, uncomfortable tricks. Watch undercover video of how elephants are “trained” just moments before going on stage.
3. Because animals are forced to travel in boxcars or trailers for up to 100 hours straight. These cars and trailers are cramped, unsanitary, and poorly ventilated. An animal has even died when temperatures have exceeded 100 degrees.
4. Because sick elephants can infect people. Ringling has had elephants carrying the human strain of tuberculosis (TB) on the road, traveling from city to city. TB is highly transmissible from elephants to humans, even without direct contact. Several Ringling employees have been treated for TB.
5. Because if elephants fight back against humans, they can end up hurting people and themselves. The animals are sometimes shot and killed after these tragedies.
6. Because elephants are often chained for days at a time.
7. Because, like many other elephants used for entertainment, Karen was kidnapped from her family in the wild. She has been miserable for 45 years, traveling from place to place and reportedly being beaten with bullhooks.
8. Because dozens of cities in the U.S. have already banned the use of bullhooks, and many countries have banned the use of wild animals in circuses. Mexico’s congress recently banned wild animal circuses nationwide, and although the law does not go into effect until July, Ringling’s performances there have already been canceled.
9. Because elephants deserve this:
What You Can Do
Never go to a circus that uses animals! Continue to speak up for animals abused by Ringling, and urge the circus to retire the elephants NOW.