Tag Archives: circus

Ringling Bros Announces the Retirement of All Their Performing Elephants

5 Mar
Ringlings Elephants

Ringling’s Elephants

The surprise announcement today by Feld Entertainment to the Associated Press to phase out the elephant acts in the Ringling Bros Circus was HUGE. First and foremost, for the elephants. In the next three years they’ll all retire as a herd to Feld’s Elephant Conservation Center located in Central Florida, where they already have 29 elephants. The company has cited growing pressure from activists as one of the reasons for the decision, stating that the money they’ve spent to defend themselves and fight legislation could go towards taking care of the elephant’s retirement instead. They’ve recognized that the elephants are aging, and that public scrutiny can no longer be ignored. Feld also stated that since multiples towns and counties across the country have ordinances against bullhooks and wild performing animals, it’s increasingly difficult to organize its Ringling tours.

So, is it possible that the Feld family actually does care about elephants? I can only hope that the Ringling elephants aren’t eventually forced to perform at the “conservation” center, which Feld would like to ultimately open to the public. With the announcement today though, they have the potential to encourage other circuses with performing elephants to retire their elephants as well. The smaller shows don’t have a ready-made conservation center to send their elephants to, but there are two fine sanctuaries in the USA that may be interested in helping. Feld’s decision sends a powerful message, the mindset is surely changing. Thanks also in part to the HBO documentary “Apology to Elephants”, which could be compared to “Blackfish” about captive whales at SeaWorld.

For now though, this is a major win for the elephants. It’s also a win for all the people that have helped make this happen. Activism works. Ringling acknowledges that the protests are at every show, they’re growing larger, and have affected ticket sales. Public perception is changing. Activism is the reason for the bullhook bans and performing wild animals ordinances, it’s the reason for the lawsuits, and it’s the reason public perception is indeed changing. PETA has certainly played a major role as well, as they’ve been investigating and protesting Ringling Bros for 35 years. But average people like me that have a passion for elephants have also helped make a difference. This win is for me, and for all the people that stood for hours at a protest, signed a petition, wrote letters and emails, called legislators, attended council meetings, spread awareness on social media, passed out flyers, and did anything they could to inform and educate the truth about circus elephants. Today, we celebrate. CONGRATULATIONS and Thank You!

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A note to my local news station about the circus being in town

25 Nov

I was so irritated this week watching my local news station promote the Cole Bros Circus being in town, I couldn’t help but drop them a little note on Facebook. I didn’t even care if it got any “Likes” or “Comments”, I just hoped that someone there would read it. Because not only did they report about it, but the correspondents would add their 2 cents by saying “I can’t wait to go” or “we’re going on Saturday”..further encouraging people to go. Below is my post:

“In the 1800’s, before science and studies, it was acceptable to enslave and beat animals in circuses. Today it is not. Cole Bros has already been fined by the USDA for violating the AWA (Animal Welfare Act) for the abuse of their elephants, yet every day this week you have advertised and interviewed Cole Bros and encouraged viewers to support them. On Friday, one of your on air correspondents even stated that he “loved elephants and can’t wait to see them at the circus” – what an oxymoron! No one that “loves” elephants would ever support an elephant in a circus. It is a fact that elephants will die in less than half of their intended life span if they do not have thousands of miles to roam. It is a fact that young female elephants require mothers and aunts to raise them until 16-18 years old (just like humans), it is a fact that elephants do not perform “tricks” 2 times a day on command without being beaten until their spirit is broken and regularly subjected to bullhooks (which are also banned and illegal). Wild animals in circuses are getting banned all over the world, for just some of the reasons I just stated. Not mentioned is also the problem of TB spreading throughout circuses, the horrible travel schedule and conditions, and the risk of a wild animal going rogue and killing people. Elephants are an endangered species – Asian and African – and deserve to be free. There is more than enough scientific evidence about elephants now to prove that what circuses are doing to them is wrong – they live a miserable slave life and are guaranteed an early death sentence. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with a circus that does not use wild animals, they can survive without them, i.e. Cirque du Soleil. It is disappointing that a news organization would establish such ignorance to encourage the support of a traveling circus with wild animals. Your 10 minutes of entertainment costs an animal her entire lifetime.”

While the TV station was doing a live remote in front of the elephants, they state that they have a two 5 year old’s that perform, and a one year old that doesn’t perform yet. I can only imagine the hell she’s going through getting trained.

Please – if the circus is ever in your town, DON’T GO. Do not support acts of abuse, do not teach your children that it’s OK to treat animals that way, and that animals are not meant to amuse and entertain us.  Elephants are, in fact, an endangered species. Nature will have played no part in their extinction, it is 100% the result of human beings – due to poaching, enslavement and encroachment.

~ LT

Alec Baldwin Urges Boycott of Ringling Bros and Circuses That Use Wild Animals

19 Mar

Award winning actor and animal rights activist Alec Baldwin released a video for PETA urging people to boycott Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus and other circuses that use wild animals.  The almost four minute long video exposes Ringling Bros. cruel treatment of their elephants, which has been well documented over the years. The star of NBC’s hit comedy 30 Rock pleads with viewers to not only boycott the circus but to also understand the natural habitat and needs of a wild elephant versus the cruel life an elephant leads in captivity with a traveling circus.

“The amount of suffering those elephants go through in order to entertain anyone’s 5 years old for fifteen minutes is a crime”
Dr. Mel Richardson, Veterinarian with 40 Years Experience with Elephants

It’s been proven that elephants in circuses develop arthritis, suffer psychological damage, live in unnatural conditions and have a much shorter life span. Their lives are spent being trained and corrected with brutal and painful training equipment, they’re forced to perform despite their health, they’re in confined storage places chained at the foot, they endure extensive travel in small poorly ventilated boxcars, they’re subject to diseases such as tuberculosis and they’re denied the social companionship that elephants naturally depend on.

Alec Baldwin: Boycott Circuses That Use Animals

Baldwin has been an animal rights activist and PETA supporter for many years. In November 2000 he appeared on a celebrity edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and won $250,000 which he donated to PAWS. He’s a card-carrying member of PETA and narrated the PETA video Meet Your Meat

He joins a long list of celebrities that advocate for elephants including Cher, Bob Barker, Cloris Leachman, Ricky Gervais, Calvin Klein, Sarah Ferguson, Tommy Hilfiger, Sophie Dahl, Lily Tomlin, Gisele Bundchen, James Franco, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kathy Griffin and Billy Bob Thornton, among others I’ve failed to name.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Animal Defenders International introduced the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, H.R. 3359 to amend the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses and traveling exhibitions. Please, contact your member of congress today and urge him/her to support and co-sponsor HR 3359, the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act. It’s very simple and only takes a moment. Everything you need, talking points and sample letters, are right here on this action page.

http://www.breakthechainus.com

http://www.federalcircusbill.com

 

Elephant lovers call to action, can you spare a few clicks?

11 Mar

We’ve come a long way since the 1800’s, right? When I say we, I mean most of the world. A rather disturbing exception would be traveling circuses that still use performing elephants, and other endangered species. Not much research was done on elephant behavior back in the 1800’s, so the ignorance can be forgiven. It can’t be forgiven today, and it is beyond ignorance at this point. It’s more like deliberate denial of the facts for the sake of a dollar. Sadly, it’s the animals that are living with the consequences.

It’s common knowledge now that elephants are social animals, require miles to roam to stay healthy and display true emotions very similar to human beings. And lets not forget, that an elephant never forgets. The life of a circus elephant is in contrast to it’s natural purpose. They’re beaten, confined, separated, restricted from exercise, demeaned, humiliated, forced to perform a grueling schedule and forced to work when they’re ill. Studies have proven that the life of a circus elephant is about half of what it should be. The psychological damage that is done is permanent for the rest of the elephant’s life.

Bob Barker in Support of H.R. 3359. Courtesy ADI

It doesn’t have to be this way. Animal Defenders International introduced the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, H.R. 3359 to amend the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses and traveling exhibitions. The bill was introduced by Congressman James Moran (D-VA) and needs additional congressional support. It’s specifically targeted at ending the use of exotic wild animals in traveling circus acts. It will not affect zoos, rodeos or permanent animal shows.

Please, contact your member of congress today and urge him/her to support and co-sponsor HR 3359, the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act. It’s very simple and only takes a moment. Everything you need, talking points and sample letters, are right here on this action page.

And If the circus is coming to your town, don’t go!

Still need a reason to help out?
Take a look at this PETA investigation in the Ringling Bros circus abuse of elephants. In November 2011 Ringling was fined by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) $270,000 for violating the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the largest fine in history. Ringling has a history of fines with the USDA yet continually denies the allegations. Undercover investigations and whistle blowers have proved otherwise:

Mother Jones found in a year-long investigation that the USDA has conducted over a dozen investigations of Ringling Bros (Feld Entertainment), and yet regulators have not acted on their findings of abuse. A former head of the animal care unit in the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said that with a limited budget, the agency was unable to prosecute many cases.

Again, please take a moment to write your representative in Congress. Detail information on the bill:

http://www.breakthechainus.com

http://www.federalcircusbill.com

Jada Pinkett Smith urges SRB to protect elephants

6 Mar
Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith urges SRB to protect elephants – baltimoresun.com.

The more voices, the better!

If the circus is coming to your town, take a look at these few sites before you consider going:

http://motherjones.com/environment/2011/10/ringling-bros-elephant-abuse

http://www.ringlingbeatsanimals.com/

How you can help:

http://breakthechainus.com/

Chained elephant photo by Animal Welfare Institute, Washington, DC

Chained elephant photo by Animal Welfare Institute, Washington, DC

Why Elephants?

5 Mar

Elephant

When I was 9 years old my grandmother took me garage sale shopping with her and gave me $5.00 to spend on anything I wanted, because she was of course, the best grandmother ever. I spotted a little ceramic life-like elephant figurine and bought it in a flash. As I grew up I cherished that figurine, set it on every dresser everywhere I lived, dusted it and polished it, and somehow bonded with the elephant species in general. It was also the beginning of my “elephant collection” of elephant figurines, and what would later become my collection of “all things elephants” which includes anything from elephants jewelry to elephant furniture to an elephant shaped teapot.

When I was 14 my father and step mother took me and my little sisters to Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida, which is an African themed amusement park. One of the popular children’s attraction was the elephant rides. As we stood in line I stared at the elephant as she walked in circles with children on her back, and even at my young age I noticed a look of misery and felt so very sorry for her. I stepped out of line, no longer interested in the ride. I never again went to another zoo or circus.

Fast forward to the early 2000’s…as I’m searching through dozens of web hosting companies for my new real estate website business, I came across a Canadian based company named “Elehost”. After checking them out it was an easy decision to give them my business. Their web hosting company website had a tab in their menu called Why Elephants? which I was intrigued enough to click on. I would dare to say it was life changing, as it led me to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and more important, unlocked and renewed my passion for and obsession with elephants.

“They have all the emotions of us humans – all the good traits and few of the bad. “
~Dame Daphne Sheldrick

I’ve done a fair amount of research on elephants, and also the people that advocate for them and help in some way whether it’s large or small. Once I started looking, I mean really looking, I also exposed myself to the horrors of poaching elephants for ivory in Africa and the abuse and unfair treatment of circus elephants. While I cannot personally and physically stop the abuses, I do have a voice. We all do.

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