Written by PETA
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus doesn't always let the public know when an elephant dies, as in the case of 11-day-old Bertha, who was born and died with no recognition, but in a news release issued this week, the circus announced that an elephant named Lutzi—who spent 56 years of her 61-year life with the circus—was euthanized after her health deteriorated.
In a sworn deposition taken during Ringling's 2009 trial to answer charges that its elephant-handling practices violated the federal Endangered Species Act, Ringling's general manager for the CEC admitted that Lutzi and other elephants were chained by two legs on a concrete floor for 16 hours a day.
Ringling is still hauling around Karen, an ailing elephant who has tested positive for tuberculosis, and is forcing her to perform tricks.
Please ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pull Karen off the road before she is added to the ever-growing list of captive elephants who have died too young.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
PETA recently uncovered that an elephant traveling with the Ringling Bros. circus, 42-year-old Karen, has tested positive for tuberculosis and was banned from the state of Tennessee earlier this year.
A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has documented the "high prevalence" of tuberculosis among captive elephants, a serious disease that is highly transmissible from elephants to humans. In 2009 nine people were infected by a TB-positive elephant at a refuge—some who had little or even no direct contact with the infected elephant.
Lota, an elephant who was rented out to circuses, suffered with TB for years before the USDA finally took action that resulted in her being sent to the Elephant Sanctuary, where she spent the last months of her life getting some long-overdue TLC.
Karen is already in poor health. She suffers from painful arthritis and serious foot problems—the leading reasons that captive elephants in the U.S. are euthanized. Late in 2010, Karen and another ailing elephant, Minyak, were both granted a reprieve and permitted to stop traveling, but as of March 2011, Karen is back with Ringling's Blue Unit. She is being forced to perform strenuous and painful tricks, including headstands, that aggravate her condition.
Since Ringling has made it clear it won't give this ailing elephant a break, please ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture—the agency in charge of protecting animals in circuses—to intercede and pull Karen off the road permanently.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.