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Elephant Runs Amok at Ringling Pre-Show

Written by PETA | February 8, 2010

An apparently agitated elephant reportedly charged into the arena during Ringling’s afternoon pre-show in Columbia, South Carolina, on Saturday, endangering about 100 spectators. Most attendees hurried away from the scene, and luckily, no one was injured, but the potential exists for injury or death when elephants rampage. Since 1990, dangerous incidents involving captive elephants in the U.S. have resulted in 13 human deaths and more than 135 human injuries.

The frightened elephant may have been trying to escape from the bullhook abuse that commonly takes place backstage at Ringling’s shows. As documented in a PETA video—which was taken over a period of several months and released last July—of the same Ringling unit that is performing in Columbia, elephants are struck repeatedly with bullhooks (a weapon that resembles a fireplace poker that trainers wield to strike, stab, hook, prod, and intimidate elephants in order to make them obey). We are asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to check this elephant for signs of bullhook abuse as well as to ensure that she is treated for any injuries sustained when she ran amok and that she is permanently removed from travel.

 


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This is the second complaint with the USDA that we have filed against Ringling regarding its treatment of elephants—in less than a week. A few hours of “entertainment” at the expense of animals intimidated into performing dangerous and unnatural tricks is never worth the trauma inflicted on those animals or the danger to spectators and their children.

Written by Logan Scherer

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  • Lois says:

    I absolutely HATE animal acts in circuses. All of the animals suffer horrible abuse are trapped in small cages most of their lives and develop emotional and physical disorders from a life of confinement and cruelty. It is time to put a stop to the false notion that they receive topquality care. I treat insects with more respect than Ringling treats its animals!

  • GLORIA JONES,LEXINGTON KY. says:

    RINGLING BROTHERS HAVE MISTREATED ANIMALS FOR MANY YEARS GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT. HOWEVER PEOPLE DO NOT! HAVE TO BRING THEIR FAMILYS TO SEE THESE ABUSED ANIMALSEVERYONE KNOWS THE QUALITY OF THEIR LIVES IS POOR. RINGLING THINKS OF THE ELEPHANTS ESPECIALLY AS BIG DUMB CLUMSEY ANIMALS. THEY ARE NOT!! ELEPHANTS ARE VERY INTELLIGENT HAVE FEELINGS THEY REALLY DO HAVE ALOT OF EMOTIONS . THEY EVEN GRIEVE FOR THEIR DEAD FAMILY MEMBERS. THERES A PLACE FOR THESE SO CALLED TRAINERS IT’S HOT THERE TOO.I AM SINCERELY SAD FOR THESE GENTLE GIANTS.

  • Timothy says:

    No way would I ever go to a circus or any other show that uses animals. It’s all about profits for these companies and they could care less about an animal’s well being. I can’t believe in this day and age they can get away with torturing and abusing very intelligent and gentle animals for the sake of making a profit. The people that abuse these poor animals should be ashamed of themselves. I’m glad the person above educated their class on what really goes on in the circus. It’s great they are making a difference.

  • Selena says:

    I actually would have liked if the trainer had gotten hurt. But the elephant would probably suffer even more. I don’t get why people still go to animal circuses. I remember I went when I was 7 and when the show was over I went over to this fence to look at the elephants. I saw the elephants locked in short chains with barely any room to move and I burst into tears which made a worker pretty mad. Never going to a circus again. These people are CRAZY.

  • Bridget says:

    I did a presentation on how bad circuses are to about 18 second graders and printed out the “circuses are no fun for me” sheets and they all signed them and stuck them on their refrigerators at home. I’m glad i made a diffidence and you should make a difference too. D

  • Elizabeth Janiszewski says:

    No wonder the poor creature ran amuck. When you think of the terrible life it leads it’s a wonder it hasn’t broken out before and killed one of its tormenters

  • Lynn says:

    The way animalsespecially the way Ringling treats their elephants are an abomination. I saw the video and it is no wonder the elephant bolted as he wanted to get away from the constant abuse the animal trainer has put on him. Humans have a mind and are considered to be the highest species on the planet but why would people want to inflict pain on them? Since they are a lower species I guess that they think it exempts them from pain. Animals can’t talk but elephants still remember lost love ones and cradle their bones. I don’t support the Ringling circus and never have. It really opened up my eyes when I saw the video. I also read that one of their elephants had contracted the hepes virus. Unlike humans they get it from being run down. These poor elephants suffer so much abuse from the hands of their trainors. The trainors need to be shot as they are so terrible. I am glad no one was hurt but I don’t blame the elephant. He had finally had enough. These are wild animals that are taken out of their habitat so what do you expect. I am hoping that enough people can expose Ringling for who they are and wouldn’t ever perform in this stateand I am in FL but I guess that will never happen.

  • lesley says:

    this is sad and more incidents of animals elephants running amok or even trampling will occur in the future if the abuse doesn’t stop!!

  • michael says:

    To John J what is your problem? You owe Brad Sharp an apology. He is a caring compassionate person qualities you clearly lack especially if you might get to have some fun for a little while. What’s more important than fun right? It’s because of selfish people such as yourself that this is even an issue. What’s it like? I truly wonder. And I really don’t care if those people got hurt either. What kind of people are they to begin with if they are even there? If they are truly innocent then that’s a different story of course.

  • Mystie. says:

    Police should quietly lie in wait and taser anyone they see torturing an animal. I’d be happy to pull the trigger.

  • Mystie. says:

    It is highly immoral to use living sentient beings for profit and greed. Slavery is alive and thriving.

  • Mystie. says:

    Yet another good reason to ban and outlaw animal circuses.

  • Stacie Stark says:

    I think if I spent my whole life being beaten my first instinct would be to attack.

  • chander kumar soni says:

    what the hell????

  • Inge says:

    Abuse….abuse……abuse….so sickening this society.

  • Barbara says:

    I agree with Susan. I’m happy no elephant was injured. But I have to askwhat boobs still go to circuses for entertainment???

  • Melinda says:

    I agree with Marnie. I dont care if anyone was hurt. These people are the one’s that keep the circus in business. Maybe if more people would get hurt then they would stop going which no $. Get the picture!!!

  • anne says:

    im glad i live in England they would not stand a chance the other circus barnum? got a very poor reception and believe me if this circus comes here they would wish they had not keep this sick circus out of Europe

  • Sarah says:

    How can we help?

  • Jan Brooker says:

    I am sick to the core that this continual TORTURE is repeatedly in operation. We are supposed to be living in a Civilised society. WHY OH WHY do humans subject animals ‘in the name of entertainment’ to such a hopeless helpless sick demorolizing and heartbreaking existance….MONEY.MONEY MONEY I am ashamed to be part of the human race…..

  • belinda says:

    SHUT THIS FRICKING DAMN CIRCUS DOWN FFS!!!! WHY IS IT BEING ALLOWED TO CONTINUE WITH ALL THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF ABUSE TO THESE POOR ANIMALS WHY IS IT STILL GOING ON FFS! DO SOMETHING ARREST THESE PPL BAN THEM FROM KEEPING AND BEING NEAR ANIMALS FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES AND BAN THIS GOD DAMN PATHETIC EXCUSE OF A CIRCUS!

  • Pam says:

    If it is generally agreed that the life of a circus animal is unatural and in some cases a nightmare … How can this be stopped? I have been reading about this for months now but other than write emails that may or may not change anything what is there to do?

  • Crista says:

    When I was 12 years old I went to my first ever animal performing circus I’m 30 now and without knowing what they did to the animals to perform those tricks I never returned to one again. Even at that age I saw that the animals weren’t happy and had more fun with the lite toy I received going there.

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