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Another Dead Ringling Elephant

Written by PETA | April 28, 2011

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

Commenting is closed.
  • Diane Carvello says:

    Its sad, Americans are selfish. I am an American, but i am not rich, but i am soo grateful for everything i have. right down to the pillow i have under my head. I love animals, i protest for them and i am a Peta Activist. I did a 7 hour day today. Worth it. It turned out good. I dont believe there were a lot of people who went on the Elephant rides. kool. got a lot of thumbs up. I do hope that the usda and other organizations will stop the circus. I never took my kid to a pony ride, or to a circus. I dont like zoos. I am so disgusted at what they do to Elephants, look at here up above, exhausted, sad, crying. It makes me cry, it really does. All this crap will end when God destroys this planet. Animals have nurturing skills and feeling of pain like us, I really do believe they have souls. and there is animal Heaven and when i get there, i want to be the keeper of animals. my heart breaks, i have watched so many videos, i cant do it anymore, but i have to. still crying. !!! if people could just watch some videos of cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, and the cruelty of the circus, they would have a much better perspective on animals and their lives. xoxo

  • Faith says:

    This is absolutly awful! They are ridiculously ignorant and cruel. Please visit my website, I am trying to organize a protest against the circus which is coming to my town soon,Fort Worth Texas. Thanks!

  • chris says:

    Not sure what part of the UK Sam lives in but although some local authorities from time to time have banned circuses with animals from their land it is currently still legal for animals to perform in circuses in the UK! We live in the hope of a ban and the eventual release of all animals to a sanctuary as most would be unlikely to survive in the wild due to old age infirmity and having become conditioned to human dependence!

  • chris says:

    Not sure what part of the UK Sam lives in but although some local authorities from time to time have banned circuses with animals from their land it is currently still legal for animals to perform in circuses in the UK

  • chris says:

    Not sure what part of the UK Sam lives in but although some local authorities from time to time have banned circuses with animals from their land it is currently still legal for animals to perform in circuses in the UK

  • Harriett says:

    I had NOOOO idea this was going on! Disgraceful! A circus has always filled the minds of children (and adults) as a *fun* place to go. A place to see the beautiful animals in all their glory. If this is what Ringling Bros does, I am disgusted and will never go to a show again. How dare they take beautiful animals and treat them poorly. Money, you say? Again, disgusting!!

  • Karen says:

    It shocked me to think that I am 56 years old, and for as long as I have been living, Lutzi has been held captive and abused by Ringling Bros. Circus. That is a very long time to be living under those conditions. Thanks to Sam, for letting us know that you can have a circus without the use of animals, like in the UK. This abuse has got to stop!


    Paula,I’m not sure I understand the relevance of your comment. I do agree with you, Aimee. I have to say that I commend you to sticking to your convictions. I know a lot of parents who claim they “have” to take their children to places like the zoo or circuses. And that is the problem with America today. Anyone who partakes is an accomlice, if you ask me.

  • Joanne chuvalo says:

    Boycot is the answer plus criminal charges. Am shocked and deeply saddened

  • Aimee says:

    I would never ever take my Son to see the circus! It disgusts me to know that people could treat an animal like that. My heart aches to know that these animals will never be able to enjoy a life out in the wilderness where they belong.

  • Sam says:

    Was surprised to hear that animals are still used in circus entertainment in the US. The use of circus animals had been banned in the UK for many many years now. We rely on human performers for entertainment instead. The majority of UK circus animals were released back into the wild where possible, and the rest were given to animal conservation projects either here in the UK, or wherever in the world each species of animal originated from. Many of the smaller circuses were forced to join ranks in order to survive, but the majority DID survive and still perform today. All circuses, whether large or small were forced to find alternative ways to entertain the public. Whilst there were some smaller circus ‘casualties’, by and large the circuses came out of the whole operation very well indeed and are still going strong, whilst still operating the “NO NEED, NO RIGHT” policy: NO circus actually NEED use animals to continue being able to make a living, and NO circus has the RIGHT to use them either.

  • Mia says:

    What the hell can we do to get Karen out of there before she dies????

  • Rachel says:

    Judith, the addresses and email addresses to write to are in the link. You don’t need to write much. Actually those prewritten letters are very easy for those people to just delete and not read. Personal ones are much better!

  • Susan says:

    I would recommend these sadistic “trainers” be transported to a mental health facility. How can people behave like this?

  • Trenton Bulat says:

    I really hate to agree with PETA on something (seriously folks, do not support PETA— donate to World Wildlife Fund or your local ASPCA instead), but this is disgusting. I will definitely write and encourage my friends to. SHARE this article!

  • Paula says:

    i sent 3 e-mails to the e-mail addresses listed in usda.

  • Kimiyo Nakamura Garey says:

    Is it a life for them? It is not right! I have been against how people there are treating from their births and their death. They are supposed to live a life where they are supposed to be. Not in an abusing place!

  • Paula says:

    the perez hilton video says florida bill 1246 is pending about a law to stop undercover video filming .ringling is in florida ,I went to this years protest in miami when the ringling circus was in town ,the audience was mostly spanish and black people who walked by us .I hope peta would put up a action alert for us to e-mail someone to stop the cruelty to animals .

  • Irene Leggett says:

    How totally inhumane to keep elephants in a circus in the 21st century. All wild animals should be banned from the circus life and the abusive treatment they receive.

  • Terri Smith says:

    I am in shock and disbelief that this cruelty is allowed. I’m disgusted and outraged!! I couldn’t stand to watch all of this torture. This needs to stop! How would any one of these so called trainers feel if they hot a bull hook rammed under their skin and pulled. Protest the circus!!!

  • A says:

    Circus people really piss me off!

  • MA Moore says:


  • kim says:

    How can we stop this cruelty?

  • michelle says:

    I am outraged, how pathetic can people be to let poor animals suffer for OUR enjoyment. Do they really think that animal belongs there? It’s a wild animal, not to be trained for people use. How can we stop the circus and also the use of elephants at fairs? We need to stop this useless act of enjoyment asap!!!

  • pat doe says:

    At least she can now rest. I have never been to the circus and will never take my sweet granddaughter either. These handlers are heartless, inhuman people. What a horrible life she must have had, never to know human kindness or mating, having a relaxing life like an elephant should. Protest the circus it is a must. When no one will pay to see abuse, hopefully they will go away.

  • Judith says:

    Please, PETA, make it easier for us to understand whom to contact at the USDA. The link you’ve included is so vague that most people won’t contact them. The groups that include pre-written letters with options for personalizing them have greater participation, I would imagine. Help us help the animals!!

  • Robyn says:

    This is cruel and heartbreaking. I will never spend money to see elephants or any other animal being tortured! Horrible! Set Karen free from B&B!

  • Michael Young says:

    This is disgraceful, to think we still have performing elephants in the 21st century sickens me.

  • Amisha Patel says:

    This is a disgrace to mother nature. Free Karen, and stop abusing elephants! A circus can thrive without animal torture, Barnum and Bailey circus is just plain lazy.

  • cheryl orphan says:

    To whom it may concern, Please compel Ringling Bros to do the right thing and retire this poor majestic animal ( Karen ). She has certainly paid her dues and now deserves to be able to live the rest of her life in peace. Forcing her to perform tricks when she is ill is cruel and unethical and I for one would not want to see this travesty they call entertainment. Sincerely, Cheryl Orphan

  • Leslie says:

    I don’t understand why people would still go to a circus knowing how elephants are treated. I will never go to a circus and never take my kids to a circus! or ever watch a movie that talks about circus’ or storey books I am completely boycotting circus’

  • Katrin Kirschner says:

    I gotta puke…

  • ccjohnston says:

    horrible…it makes me wish those animals would fight back and hurt him…but not to worry he will feel the wrath of the Lord, I hope the Lord has NO mercy on him either………

  • Kali Johnson says:

    Please, please take the elephant known as Karen off the road. She is sick and doesn’t deserve to be sick and forced on stage.

  • Tanya Davies says:

    It is time to stop allowing animals to be in circuses. They are abused on a daily basis. Is it fair for the animals? Hell no! Free the elephants, lions, tigers and all animals from the circus life.

  • Chaneoy says:

    I think PETA needs to start taking silent anonymous action against not only the handlers but the anyone raising a hand to harm any animals. There are poeple to handle these situations if needed

  • Jmartinez says:

    Please give Karen the respect she deserves and bring her to a place where she no longer has to amuse an audience. She has given enough!

  • Greta says:

    fuck you barnum & bailey!



  • maricouh says:

    je trouve ca degueulasse mais je le savais , ca ne m etonne pas ! je n ai jamais cautionne les cirques ou il y a des animaux !!! je sais trop ce qui s y passe !

  • Tamara Hayes says:

    This is unacceptable and I am shocked that this is allowed. Please pull Karen out of the ring and do something about the inhumane practices with which these animals are being treated. I just can’t believe that there are still people who think it’s ok to blithely treat animals like so much garbage.

  • Lucia Terrell says:


  • Claudia Alraun says:

    Not Animals in the Circus

  • Lesley Machan says:


  • caroline says: