Tag Archives: elephants

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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Ivory stockpile to be publicly destroyed as Obama seeks to end illegal trade | The Guardian

12 Nov afritorial.com

Ivory stockpile to be publicly destroyed as Obama seeks to end illegal trade | Environment | The Guardian.

This above link is a very informative article by The Guardian about the Ivory problem in this world. Yes, the world. And it is everyone’s problem. On Thursday this week, the United States will take a step forward by burning it’s stockpile with cameras rolling, in hopes that the rest of the world is watching. Hello, China? Everyone is looking at you.

I shutter at the thought that elephants will become extinct in my lifetime, and I am saddened by the thought that future generations will be robbed of their presence. Their extinction will be 100% the fault of mankind, due to poaching and loss of habitat.  Picture a large bull elephant, he’s approximately 45 years old, and standing 15ft high with tusks so long they almost touch the ground. Now picture him laying on the ground with his face carved away. This is what has been repeatedly found by rangers and such, from large bulls to smaller and younger elephants, dead. Tusks gone. Killed for one reason, and one reason only. Ivory.

Despite their size compared to man, they are defenseless. They are killed with guns, arrows and even cyanide poisoning. There are not enough Rangers, not enough resources, and not enough humans to stop the crisis. Not enough punishment for those found guilty. Elephants mourn their dead, and the poachers know it. They can kill one, then come back and kill an entire family that is simply there to do what we as human beings do when we are faced with the death of a family member.

Greed drives a lot of things. It’s so powerful it can drive the extinction of our planet earth’s largest mammal, and one of the smartest. Since the ivory ban, it’s only become more in demand. Don’t fuel that demand. Remember this – ivory only comes from one place: elephants.  Are your trinkets worth it?

Happy World Elephant Day

12 Aug

On August 12, 2012 World Elephant Day gives you a chance to help conserve and protect elephants from the numerous threats they face.

About – World Elephant Day.

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

An African Love Story – by Dame Daphne Sheldrick

7 Mar
Daphne Sheldrick

An African Love Story

After supporting and following the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for the past 10 years, I was more than thrilled to hear of Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s plans to write an autobiography. Appropriately titled, “An African Love Story – Love, Life and Elephants”, Sheldrick eloquently brings readers along an amazing journey from childhood through today, with an incredible story only someone of her rare privilege could possibly tell.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust fosters baby elephants and rhinos in Tsavo National Park in Nairobi, Kenya. The babies fall victim to parental loss due largely to poaching, or some other human created death. They’re nursed to health at the orphanage and then eventually released back into the wild.

The book was released in the UK on March 1st, and is available in the USA by clicking here: http://www.thedswt.org.uk/LLE.html

Proceeds from the book purchased using the above link will go direct to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.


An excellent article about Daphne Sheldrick in The Telegraph:

The woman who fosters elephants in Kenya – Telegraph.

Worth the read…she is truly one of the world’s most remarkable women.

If you’re interested in fostering an elephant, contact the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for more information.

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

Connie and Shaba arrive at the San Diego Zoo

6 Mar

Connie, (an Asian elephant), and Shaba, (an African elephant) have been together for over 30 years at the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, AZ and have recently been moved to the Elephant Odyssey at the San Diego Zoo. The move didn’t come easy, however. Originally the zoo had plans to separate the two elephants, since Connie is an Asian elephant she was headed to San Diego and Shaba was to remain with the African herd in Tucson. But after weeks of public outcry not to separate the two, which included the support of Bob Barker, the city council agreed to keep the girls together. So they packed up their trunks and moved to San Diego!

Proof once again, that voices can be heard. If it wasn’t for ele lovers standing up for these two, they would have suffered a traumatic loss from their separation.  There are very few places on earth that you will find Asian and African elephants together, as they are actually different species. So the challenge was heavy, but San Diego currently does have the two together and fully expect Connie and Shaba to gravitate towards their own species. Hopefully, things will go smooth.

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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