Update: The city of Anaheim appears to be abandoning all responsibility for this horrific incident, citing the self-serving claims of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus that Sarah’s health is perfectly fine. Please take action now to remind city officials that in addition to having jurisdiction over this case, it is their professional responsibility to prohibit Ringling from performing in Anaheim if the circus cannot comply with local laws—which Ringling has clearly demonstrated it cannot.

On Sunday night, an elephant who was being loaded into a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus boxcar collapsed after struggling to climb the ramp. According to an eyewitness, Sarah didn’t receive veterinary care while she lay on the pavement but was instead intimidated by Ringling employees and forced into the railcar.

Credit: Ameer Sanghvi

The circus was loading animals after finishing a run in Anaheim, California, and was on the way to Ontario, California.  Reports indicate that the elephant who collapsed is Sarah, an elephant whose removal from performances PETA called for last month because of her poor physical condition—which includes a history of inadequately treated infections.

Many of the elephants forced to travel with Ringling are ill and in pain. Just weeks ago, two independent veterinarians with many years of experience with elephants analyzed video footage of Ringling’s elephant walk and opening night performance in Los Angeles and determined that one of the elephants “is clinically lame to the point of being crippled. Her condition is painful and she should not be performing.”


Write to Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait at [email protected] to make this the last time that Ringling comes to town and Ontario Mayor Paul S. Leon at [email protected] to allow an independent expert?not a Ringling yes-man?to check on the elephant’s condition.

E-mail us a copy of the letter you send to [email protected] for 500 points each!