Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ringling on Trial - Baby Elephants Tortured

Circuses are supposed to be fun, magical places where the weird and wacky come to life. Where women grow beards and clowns fall over their over-large feet and men can charm snakes with a song and you can find out your fortune.

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus jumped from the carnivale atmosphere most children associate with the Circus, to the all out nightmare version with electrods, bullhooks and prolonged chaining.

Not of people, of course not. No, they've been doing this to baby elephants, in the guise of 'training' them to perform tricks.

Despite a history of animal abuse, they have still been able to tour around the beautiful land of the free (ie. USA, for those not in the know) and make money out of the animal abuse. Now I'm not one of those completely anti-circus people that hang around yelling in picket lines.

I'm not a fan of circuses (Clowns, really? Ever seen IT?) but so long as the animals are being treated properly, I keep my mouth shut and protest only insofar as I won't attend if the Circus is in town.

But this...this sort of treatment needs to be displayed on billboards, needs to be voiced and spoke and discussed and ended. A protest needs to be screamed out from the top of buildings with the same kind of enthusiam Twilight fans display when glimpsing Robert Pattison - only of course, it should be against the kind of treatment these animals are being subjected to.

Could you imagine killing an 8 month old for breaking a leg when it falls off a pedastal during a grueling training? Or chaining a baby inside a dirty, badly ventilated boxcar for on average 40hours at a time whilst driving across country? Well, that's exactly what has been happening to the baby elephants being trained by Ringling.

These are just some of the violations picked up by the U.S. Department of Agriculture since 2000 (as displayed on the Ringling whistle-blower site):
  • Improper handling of dangerous animals;
  • Failure to provide adequate veterinary care to animals, including an elephant with a large swelling on her leg, a camel with bloody wounds, and a camel injured on train tracks ;
  • Causing trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm, and unnecessary discomfort to two elephants who sustained injuries when they ran amok during a performance;
  • Endangering tigers who were nearly baked alive in a boxcar because of poor maintenance of their enclosures;
  • Failure to test elephants for tuberculosis; and
  • Unsanitary feeding practices
Reports are that 4 baby elephants and approximately 22 (at the very least) adult elephants have died in the past 17 years due to poor treatment.

If this isn't enough to make to want to scream (or like I did, sign a petition) then look at this.

Take action. It will only take 3 minutes of your time.

Hey, 'tis the season of giving!

On a further note, thanks to Anon for bringing this post to my attention.


  1. look at "the elephant in the room" by leslie griffith.

  2. Incredible, not only are their actions against animals despicable, abhorrent, but their actions towards their own species is completely unconscionable. Small children are being exposed to strains of TB that are drug resistant! The question is how do you help bring down such a corrupt financial giant? Hopefully in this case, the result with be David and Goliath like. Thanks Anonymous for that reference.