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Herd of ‘Elephants’ Gives Ringling a Not-so-Warm Welcome

Written by Alisa Mullins | March 21, 2014

When Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus arrived in Washington, D.C., yesterday, it was met by herd of “baby elephants” eager to let parents know that when they take their youngsters to the circus, they pay for elephant youngsters to be beaten and chained.

DC Ringling Bros. Demonstration with Inflatable Elephant

PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk led the herd of inflatable pachyderms and a crowd of humans in a protest that snaked around the block.

DC Ringling Bros. Demonstration with Ingrid Newkirk

They told prospective circus attendees that Ringling has a long history of chaining and beating elephants (including babies), racking up dozens of violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) over the years. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture fined Ringling $270,000—the largest fine ever levied against any circus—for numerous AWA violations, including the deaths of a lion and a baby elephant.

Not surprisingly, after learning that the whips and bullhooks held by circus trainers aren’t just for show, several appalled parents quickly ushered their kids in the opposite direction.

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  • vanessa says:

    I hope this protest engages people to do the same in every city they go to! Nicely done!

  • AnAnimalLover says:

    When I was 10 years old my dad took me to a circus. Even though the lights were low I saw an apparatus on the end of the whip that was making contact with the animals. The animals didn’t seem happy at all. The big cats roared in pain with the thrash of the whip. I’m 32 and have never gone back to the circus.

  • Why would the USDA help animals when they allow animals to be tortured on factory farms and government labs.? Its time for this garbage to STOP!!!

  • Nan Newall says:

    It is frankly mortifying that the USDA has not banned the use of animals in the entertainment world, in spite of the abuse, torture, and brutality that goes on. Fining circuses and animal exhibitors is not enough. These notorious people simply see paying fines as a “cost of doing business”. What is needed is a total and complete ban on the use of animals and criminalizing the abuse of animals by imposing the most severe and stringent penalties on the abusers. It is about time that the USDA step up and do its job!!!

  • nick sanders says:

    circuses sux

  • Laura S. Lordi says:

    Frankly, I am ashamed to belong to a race that so blatantly misuse, abuse, capture and detain these magnificent creatures for monetary gain. Shame on the governments who can’t or wont rescue these animals and create and ENFORCE appropriate punishment and laws for those who ignore those laws. It breaks my heart and crushes my spirit whenever I see an animal in captivity or a person being otherwise abusive to a defensive anything !! People who participate in those practices are sick, and need correcting by any means necessary ! Let us STOMP out animal abuse during this decade, proactively and with our eyes wide open. Turning your head makes you just as guilty. We are ALL Gods’ creatures, big and small, and the life of an animal is just as precious as our own.. They deserve so much better.
    Please, lets help by example, true compassion for these tortured creatures!

  • sharon chang says:

    many people are very uneducated about the different types of animal abuse!you can’t spend your life with your head in the sand!

  • Kim says:

    God bless you all. I’ve attended the circus once in my entire life and it was after I discovered how they “train” the animals that I vowed never to attend another circus and to never allow my children to attend any circus. These animals were not put on this Earth to entertain us humans. It’s appalling that they are allowed to continue using animals in any circus in any part of this country or anywhere else for that fact. When Ringling Bros came to my hometown I did my small part in not attending first of all and second in posting all over the social networks just exactly what Ringling Bros does to those beautiful animals. We must continue to speak out for those who are unable to.

  • Sally Anne Hubbard says:

    This is so wonderful. For my next circus protest I will have to get an inflatable pachyderms. This is very effective in getting peoples attention.