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Caught on Tape: Elephant Mercilessly Beaten

Written by PETA | March 28, 2011

Undercover footage released by London-based Animal Defenders International shows an elephant handler with the “Super Circus” as he viciously kicks and beats a chained 58-year-old elephant named Annie with a pitchfork and a club. At one point, it appears that the elephant, who was taken from the wild as a child for a lifetime of servitude in the circus, is stabbed in the face with the tines of a pitchfork. Annie, who suffers from arthritis like most elephants in captivity, is the last elephant still used in a circus in Britain. The undercover footage also shows ponies and horses who jump backwards as they are kicked and slapped as well as a worker who spits in a camel’s face. 

Four years ago, PETA offered to pay to send Super Circus’ owner, Bobby Roberts, to visit The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. We hoped that once he saw the paradise that awaited Annie, he would relent and retire her to sanctuary. The heartless exploiter never responded.

PETA U.K. has contacted the RSPCA asking that Annie be confiscated from the circus, and the group is appealing to the British government to pass a pending bill that would ban the use of wild animals in U.K. circuses. 

While PETA U.K. fights for Annie, you can fight for elephants who are suffering right here in the U.S. Visit to learn more about the abuse of animals in circuses and what you can do to help stop it. Every one of those animals needs your help.

Written by Jennifer O’Connor

Commenting is closed.
  • Maureen says:

    Did Bobby Roberts see the same tape I did????? If he thinks his animals are well taken care of then DO I HAVE A ZOO TO SELL HIM….I will never understand how these people think. It was ALL TO CLEAR to me what was being done not only to Annie but to the other animals. If left up to Bobby Roberts and Go Daddy and Ringlings we will have no Elephants left,we will only be able to view them as extinct on a computer disc somewhere.

  • Louise Wood says:

    Horrific and they call the Elephant an ANIMAL I think we all know who the ANIMAL is!!!!!

  • Robin Shehan says:

    Oh Dear God in Heaven- please help Annie and all those animals with her that are being abused on a daily basis. Please will someone help this wonderful animal. PLEASE!!! PLEASE!!!

  • Tammy says:

    I have tears streaming down my face!!! I am sobbing!! That is just horrific!! Who are these inhumane sub-humans?? My heart and soul are crushed!!! How can we help?? Is there a petition for circus animals?? I’ve never wittnessed such cruelty in my life!!! When will it ever end?? Are those people up on charges?? If anyone knows who they are – you know what to do to them!!! Please do!!!

  • kim says:

    evil scumbags i would love to do the same to them save anne now !!

  • Melody says:


  • Arlington, VA says:

    Pathetic, evil subhumans…While this abuse is crystal clear, people still take their kids to the circus. It’s antiquated and based on this kind of treatment. How else do you think these poor animals can do stupid “tricks” for your kids who don’t even care? Take your kids to protest or to a sanctuary instead. This is poison for the soul.

  • Laura Marron says:

    Aren’t there animal protection/abuse laws in the UK? How do I find Bobby Roberts’ email contact info? It’s not on his web site. Instead he has a pathetic family comment pleading ignorance. What more can be done to stop this barbaric abuse? Thank you! LM

  • Hieronymus says:

    how can i seriously help to fight this? Is this case being acted upon? Where are these men located ? i wish the circus show would end all together, but these animals are hunted in the wild as well. None the less we have the power, in this case, to pursue these individual people and the company. They must be held accountable , and I would love to help.

  • Hieronymus here says:

    how can i seriously help to fight this? Is this case being acted upon? Where are these men located ? i wish the circus show would end all together, but these animals are hunted in the wild as well. None the less we have the power, in this case, to pursue these individual people and the company. They must be held accountable , and I would love to help.

  • DC says:

    I’ll wait for the day Annie snaps.

  • Stazzie says:

    i refuse to watch this video as i know this will haunt me like the one i saw of the hormel food supplier viciously abusing those pigs and piglets. i want to know if the people who do this are prosecuted and i want and NEED to know that this elephant is going to be rescued. PLEASE KEEP US POSTED. Praying for the safety of Annie.

  • Ruth Fox says:

    please please please please help this poor elephant to get out of the cruelty by these unspeakable vile people

  • Sharon F. says:

    OH, MY GOD! Annie, that gentle creature, to be brutalized like that. . .the other animals subjected to sadistic abuse; a stomach turning, heart wrenching scene that is one of many, I’m sure. If there is any sort of higher power out there these sub-human, soulless, scum filled abusers will be subjected to an eternity of unending torture for all the misery that they caused these innocent animals.

  • Ivonne says:

    what is the point of the beating? are this men angry? do they need help? the animals are so lovely and helpless. somebody needs to chain and beat this men!!!

  • Revark says:

    Disgusted does not come close to the feelings that I have upon seeing this. WHO is that horrid person and HOW in the world is he able to continue his job. Simply being fired would be far too small a price to pay for this torture. He needs to be arrested, tried, found guilty and sentenced for this senseless abuse. Free Annie NOW!

  • Lucinne says:

    I started crying when I watched this video. It makes me sick to think that people like these exsist. Animals are so much better than humans. We all need to fight to everything we can to help animals evrywhere!!

  • LuAnne says:

    i would like to put that bulhook right through that slimebuckets eye!!!!!

  • Christina L. Young says:

    Disgusting. Just give me five minutes alone in a room with a pitchfork and all those circus employees chained to the floor. Please.

  • Kathleen Smith says:

    I am not surprised about this. I am however, deeply disgusted and appalled that this poor elephant is suffering like this. I have protested outside this circus and others that have performing animals. Bobby Roberts is not a nice man. On the Captive Animals Protection Society website, C.A.P.S, they have an audio interview of him talking to a reporter. When the reporter asks him about welfare issues of some of his animals, he loses it and attacks the poor reporter! I have successfully pursuaded some shops to remove circus posters from their windows by showing them evidence of the cruelty behind the scenes.A public consultation resulted in approx 95% of people wanting to see an end of wild animals in the circus. Then we had a change of government and the lot that are in now are totally useless!They`re dragging their heels on the issue. Maybe with this new evidence, they will be pushed into doing something about it, but I`m not holding my breath.

  • anon says:

    I seriously just got sick to my stomach

  • misty molano says:

    I just qatched the video with annie and the handler. I am disgusted and appauled.he was obviousley hurting her because every time he hit her in the back of her leg she jerked in pain. I would love to do the same to that trainer while he,s chained up.

  • Rebecca Russell says:

    How much more heartless and cruel can they be? What’s wrong with these people?!! My God, the poor elephant isn’t even doing a single thing wrong!She’s old and she’s also chained to a 2 foot chain! It’s so wrong for so many reasons! It’s just plain mean, cruel and senseless!!! Have a heart, get a clue abusers!!!

  • Mary says:

    Good Lord. This abuse must stop immediately. Evil persists when good men do nothing.

  • MA Moore says:

    This was very hard to watch! The punishment should fit the crime! Let me at em! Aren’t there any laws protecting these magnificent, innocent and helpless animals?

  • Carol Monteverde says:

    What I would like to know is, will this person on here abusing the elephant and other poor animals be arrested and prosecuted? This is very hard to watch. The laws should have already been changed to outlaw circuses. What is the matter with these people? I will keep praying for justice for the animals….

  • Rohi Domínguez says:

    Sorry I speak english very little. Estoy contra la violencia a todos los animales, este video es de terror y me causa verguenza como ser humano. En México he visto casos espeluznantes de varios circos. Estoy con ustedes Peta gracias por esta información. Hasta pronto.

  • Marina says:

    If tis is the last cicus in Britain who works with wild animals, or animals i general, it must be possible to prosecute these men I saw beating Annie and the others. It’s revolting. They belong in prison, beaten bad. I hope PETA can save them.

  • tina lindstrom says:

    These people are clearly sick in the head, why are they getting away with this? Animals are not ours to own and control. Only sick people with mental problems beat and make other animals and humans suffer and get satisfaction out of it. SICK SICK SICK. Enough with the madness already.

  • oldfinewine says:

    I really want to see this guy put behind bars and Annie set free to live out her life in peace, I hope someone treats these people like this when they are old and hurting. I venomously hate people like this.

  • veganjamila says:

    OMG, this is killing me.

  • HeidiB4 says:

    It’s absolutely disgusting that this is allowed to go on. These “people” are a horrible example of mankind and should be punished!!!!

  • susan says:

    theres going to be a protest in knutford on wednesday from 4pm onwards where the circus will be.. if you can make it please do… Annie and her friends need us!! STOP THIS ABUSE!!

  • kathy says:

    I bought the Ringling Bros flyers from PETA. I’m a little shy so the way I’m distributing them is I’m putting one in all my mail/packages when I pay bills or return products. Just sharing in case others like the idea too.

  • Amanda says:

    These are Sick Men they should be hanged, this is absolutely horrific for an elephant to have under go this kind of abuse is outrageous in 2011. What wring with this sick world no wonder mother nature is getting her own back and I’m glad.

  • susan says:

    i want to help get Annie removed from this nightmare and the scum responsible for the cruelty brought before the courts… how can i get a petition started via my facebook… anyone? Apparently there is going to be a demonstration in knutsford on Wednesday at 4pm.. if you can get there…be there for Annie and her friends…. FREE ANNIE AND HER FRIENDS!!

  • pepper parker says:

    This is one of the worse things I HAVE EVER SEEN. I am crying. I hope this man gets beaten like he beat her!!!

  • Natalie Woods says:

    Please set these animals free from this cruelty. Let them realise that life isn’t all about brutality

  • kath says:

    i hope these people are beaten and shackled and then set afire. what scum of the earth.

  • susan says:

    i want to start a petition going on my facebook so can anyone help me with this because ive not been able to do it as yet… great that peta has joined the fight… the scum that has done this to Annie have to be proscecuted… theres no question about it… what is the defence for the scum doing this to her… OMGosh!! let the courts be her voice.. just for once… if i could find the cowards who have done this, id want to tear their tongues out so that they could never talk to anyone ever again and if they were to suffer a beating not be able to cry out..”STOP”!! scum… cowards, filth…. get Annie out of this… humans dont work for 50 years so why has she been forced to work way past her retirement?? lets help her…. and other circus animals..NOW!!

  • Kimberly & Scott McBroom says:

    This is horrendous and totally uncalled for. There is NO reason for an animal to be beaten like that. I think the people doing this should be tied up and beaten and see how they like it!!!!

  • Julie Charania says:

    This is absolutely horrific. Why do these monsters think they have the right to treat an animal like this. The RSPCA must remove Annie from the circus immediately and let her live out her days with the respect she deserves. Reasing this has just made me so upset. There really seems to be no hope for the human race..

  • Solun says:

    This is horrible!

  • L. Wendland says:

    omg…that’s terrible…makes me want to cry! what can we do to help free this poor elephant from her abusers??

  • Jane says:

    I will never visit a circus that uses animals that should be in the wild ever again. Humans are cruel. I hope these people that think they can cause an animal terrible suffering, burn in hell!!!!

  • DD says:

    This isnt the first heartbreaking video ive seen, which makes watching it even more heartbreaking. watching that video put me in tears and made me want to go through the computer and beat all those people exactly how they had done to those poor innocent animals.

  • monika says:

    It makes me sick!!

  • Laetitia A says:

    So Sad… 🙁