Adventure Student Travel: Promoting SeaWorld means promoting cruelty!
Elephants, tigers, and other animals used in circuses are stolen from their families, tightly chained or caged for hours or even days at a time, and beaten, electro-shocked, and whipped into submission by circus trainers (uhhhh, WTF?!).
Circuses want you to believe that these animals voluntarily stand on their heads, balance on balls, and jump through rings of fire—but c’mon, y’all. We know better than that.
Check out a few of the most common, often bloodied tools used by the circus industry to hurt animals, and see for yourself that a life in the circus is anything but fun for animals:
A bullhook, which resembles a fireplace poker, has a sharp steel hook and a point at one end and is used to beat, hit, prod, and jab elephants into submission, sometimes until they’re bloody. Trainers often embed the hook in the soft tissue behind the ears, inside the ear or mouth, in and around the anus, and in tender spots under the chin and around the feet.
A former Ringling Bros. employee said that beating elephants with bullhooks was a normal routine and that “Ringling even employs a guy to use some special powder to stop up the bleeding when an elephant is hooked too hard. They call it ‘spot work'”—as in “try and ‘spot’ the abuse,” we’re guessing.
And that’s not all:
In the wild, elephants walk up to 30 miles each day, but in the circus, these intelligent, social animals are locked in leg shackles that only allow them to take a single step forward or backward. Ringling’s own documents reveal that on average, elephants are chained for 26 hours straight and are sometimes chained for as many as 100 hours straight.
Constant travel means that animals are confined to boxcars or trailers, often for days at a time, in extremely hot and cold weather, often without access to basic necessities such as food, water, and veterinary care. While in transit, elephants, big cats, and primates are forced to eat, drink, sleep, defecate, and urinate all in the same place.