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Beating Barack?

Written by PETA | December 17, 2009

Before I tell you this story, please go check out our newest exposé on the abuse of baby elephants for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The exposé has been featured extensively in The Washington Post.




Keep those heartbreaking photos in mind as I tell you about Ringling’s newest addition to its troupe of miserable, abused elephants. Barack is a baby Asian elephant who was born on January 19, the day before President Barack Obama was sworn into office—hence the name. TampaBayOnline reported that Baby Barack, who is not even 1 year old, just made his “debut” at a Ringling rehearsal at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

It’s hard to believe that anyone would use an electric shock prod on an elephant like Baby Barack—or that someone would bind a baby elephant with rope and then slam that baby to the ground—but that’s exactly the information presented to us by one of Ringling’s own baby elephant trainers, the late Samuel Haddock Jr., who had a change of heart about his nearly 20-year career with Ringling.

In his statement about Ringling’s treatment and training of baby elephants, Mr. Haddock noted, “Babies are typically pulled from their mothers around 18–24 months of age. Once they’re pulled from their mothers, they’ve tasted their last bit of freedom and the relationship with their mother ends.” He added, “Sometimes [the baby elephants] would start crying when they saw their mothers brought in from outside.”

After the terrified babies are torn away from their devastated mothers, they begin a life of bondage and are forced to learn “tricks” such as sitting on tubs and standing on their heads.

Once again: Barack was born in January of this year, meaning that he isn’t even 12 months old.

Would President Obama disapprove of the treatment of his namesake? I believe he would. I’ve posted this information on my Facebook page to let others know that I don’t approve of Ringling’s elephant abuse. Won’t you do the same?

Written by Karin Bennett

Commenting is closed.
  • Carley Miracle says:

    I’m doing an essay on aniaml abuse including circus abuse and this just makes me sick to know that some one could be that heartless and take place in actions like this. It’s not right and it should be stoped!!

  • Sheryl Willey says:

    Naming a baby elephant Barack is the ultimate insult to President Obama and to any one who has slavery in their ancestry. Like the human slaves elephants are captured in their native countriestorn from their familiesbrokered to the USchained beaten and made to work in confusing and horrific conditions.

  • Maria de Bever says:

    Words fail. In this day and age and in USA? Why can’t the animal welfare groups take them to court for cruelty? Weeping. Maria x

  • Urmil Dhanda says:

    Please some one stop this. when I mention this to my friends they think she is disturbing the peace. Pl PETA stop this.

  • drew says:

    And what has president Obama done to stop all the horrific cruelties to animals? Nothing. And this is slavery. This is the abuse and suffering of slave trade cruelty. And there is far worse torture out there to billions of feeling individuals that Barrack Obama and all the people in congress do nothing to stop.

  • KathyMarie says:

    Can’t they see what they are doing?? I mean how do they elephant trainers NOT see the abuse and torture they are doing to these precious baby elephants!? For God’s sake…leave them be! Let them be elephants not damn circus entertainers!

  • Anonymous says:

    For the sake of the animals circuses need to be regulated immediately. Training should be subjected to random inspections to ensure that the animals are not being mistreated. I don’t object to the principle of animal training as a whole but it should only be done through a rewardbased mechanism torture is completely unacceptable.

  • lo says:

    This isss soo sad!!! one day those people will pay!

  • Joanna says:

    No animal should be chained by its legs deprived of all social and environmental enrichment and then forcibly trained to stand on its head. Sadistic is the description I think of and anybody who is paying money to see elephants perform tricks is just as sick as the trainers. Baby Barrac is less than one year old and already a star attraction. I guess they couldn’t wait even 12 months to get him all dressed in leg chains and drag him from his mothers side. Sick and Greedy.

  • emma says:

    FFS when is someone gonna put a stop to this?? this has gone on long enough now and with this recent man coming forward with information about the cruelty when is someone finally gonna say enough is enough. What is it gonna take…what more cruelty and suffering do these elephants have to take before someone steps in and shuts this place down… this is a fking joke. Peta stay on this and put the pressure on. those babies carnt cope with much more not to mention their poor mothers. im fking outraged all i can say is im glad i dont live in america cause id prob do something id regret if i can get anywhere near that circus or its disgusting employees.

  • Saucy says:

    Thats an Outrage! GREEDY BASTARDS.

  • Bluebell says:

    This is horrific It beggars belief that people still pay to see these poor creatures tortured for the sake of “entertainment”. I’m not religious but I hope that the employees of Ringling Bros. and other animal circuses get their comeuppance at some point.

  • Kathleen Alexander says:

    I am sick with sadness that this baby has been torn from his mother and subjected to such cruelty! I know President Obama would not approve if he were to find out about this issue!

  • Jess says:

    These photos are horrifying. Everywhere I look animals are being mistreated. Like the glorious elephants Ringling has tortured and abused for DECADES this circus too shall be brought to its knees. I agree with the poster that hates the human species. Truly truly shameful.

  • Amber says:

    If someone did this to a human baby they would go to jail for life! so why do they think it’s ok to do it to a baby elephant?

  • Brien Comerford says:

    I know that President Abe Lincoln would ban this elephant abuse. He deplored hunting and cruelty to animals. Lincoln was genuine when he started the Thaksgiving Turkey pardon. His feline tabby was the first White House cat. He loved horses goats rabbits cats dogs turkeys and virtually every creature.

  • Shari says:

    Oh my gosh! That’s right! That is poor little Barack. I was so hurt to see thisAGAIN! But now even more if that was even possible. PETA go after them! Has the USDA made a comment about this yet?

  • Cat! =^-^= says:

    Absolutely disgusting. For a nation of Biblebeaters who keep chanting about the precious gift of life they certainly have very little regard for this one… and many others like him. I used to hate going to the circus because of clowns. Now I have a whole ‘nother reason to.

  • Barbara says:

    You know what this reminds me of? Abu Ghraib torture. The people torturing these beautiful creatures should be imprisoned for life.

  • claire lloyd says:

    I thought president obama should see this so i sent the link to the white house online. This is appaling.

  • AAG says:

    I HATE THE HUMAN SPECIES!!!! My heart breaks for all of those baby elephants. These are babies being abused for the almighty dollar. I feel sick.

  • Carla* says:

    I can hardly contain myself!! Knowing elephants have strong bonds to family just like our own this is disgusting and beyond despicable!! Down with Ringling you Glorified BASTS!!

  • Brandon Becker says:

    Disgusting. Permanently boycott Ringling and all other circuses that exploit nonhuman animals. These animals should live free in nature among their kind not tortured and enslaved for human amusement!