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Eyewitness: Elephant Beaten Until She Screamed at Kelly Miller Circus

Written by PETA | August 13, 2013

An eyewitness has come forward to report appalling cruelty to an elephant at the notorious Kelly Miller Circus. The observer, who was on circus premises on August 8, reports that she and her son saw a handler—part of a Carson & Barnes Circus unit traveling with Kelly Miller—use a “stick” that had a sharp hook on the end (i.e., a bullhook) to beat an elephant who was carrying four children on her back. The elephant was reportedly hit so hard that she “screamed,” with each strike producing an audible “whack” sound. The witness swore out an affidavit describing the beating, and PETA has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate.

This is just the latest in a series of recent reports by concerned citizens of abuse and neglect by exhibitors with the Kelly Miller Circus. Other eyewitness accounts described physical abuse and tight, unsafe tethering of animals. While we hope that the USDA will act to protect these animals from further abuse, it’s vital to remember that all animals used by circuses are suffering – please never attend any circus that uses animals, and choose animal-friendly entertainment instead.

Commenting is closed.
  • stephanie says:

    Free them from the pain

  • Take her out of there !!!!

  • Erin says:

    All animals should be treated with love and respect. If you have to have an animal circus then look after them properly or set them free

  • christine says:

    There Is no place for a circus now! Give the elephants to

  • Bridget says:

    Please ban circus acts everywhere and forever. This is soo very cruel inhumane and devastating! !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • critterc says:

    ok what can we do to help her? this is totally unacceptable and animal abuse in the states is now a FELONY!

  • Sandra Wilentz says:

    AUGUST 28, 2014
    TO PETA:
    Just saw this post. Outraged and disgusted that this poor, beautiful creature had to suffer the brutality and savagery of these inhuman monsters! Pls, let me know what happened to this Elephant and the criminals that beat her! Was there a petition? Where and how is the Elephant?
    Thank you.

  • Cindy whitr says:

    is absolutely sickening and this is why I do not attend circuses.the animals are horribly abused an elephant aren’t meant for rides for children! You disgust me.

  • Ginger Kaliszewski says:

    Kelly Miller Circus is coming to our town for the third year…Avon Lake Ohio. It is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus in my church. I have protested at each one and given out much information. Nothing helps. Can someone help?

    • Robert says:

      I’d like to know the name of the church the KC is affiliated with. Maybe they’d respond to a petition drive or liturgical statement on animal abuse…

    • Kate struthers says:

      Start a petition and give out the information if possible to contact where this circus is going. I’ve noticed a lot has changed when places drop these eve to due to public outcry. The more places that don’t allow it the quicker these places will be a thing of the past. Don’t give up! Your doing great, more and more people are getting fed up with animal cruelty.

  • The fact that parents still think piling their kids on top of a gorgeous animal or going to a circus is “entertaining” is embarrassing. Circuses and any event exploiting wild animals need to STOP now — PLEASE QUIT GOING TO CIRCUSES — There are 1,000 other ways to entertain yourselves and your kids. I don’t mind if you feel you must have your entertainment spoon-fed to you – but leave the animals out of it.

  • Shawn says:

    What can we do to get this elephant away from this circus? Can anything be done?

  • katie says:

    What has been done with this situation? I am disgusted and disappointed with this country and the so called justice system!

  • karen says:

    Peta, What are you doing to stop this? What can we do?

  • Deborah says:

    Sad they call humans the intelligent species, when some are just barbarians

  • Susan kiff says:

    Animals have no place in a circus ! In days gone by when we didn’t know about the abuse they receive we enjoyed them… But the price is too high! Animals that are beaten into submission and then misused and worked to death

  • christina says:

    Yes…felony and prison time…Tim Frisco is another that serve prison time… Have Trunk Will Travel…look that up…HORRIBLE…

  • Jane Aakermann says:

    This is so awful and disguisting, i don´t no what to say . I am crying NO ANIMAL in Circus. People only have the animal to get Money . They don´t treat the animal good. They don´t have Space enough ,and travelling around all time. It´s not a life for an animal

  • lavinia says:

    I cannot stand this. Lets hope that all circus with animals will be banned in the World!

  • jessie says:

    WTH is wrong with people serious a circus that’s why i dont go to them i hate how the animals are treated….

  • Z.M says:

    This just goes to show the disgusting level of greed some humans possess. Whacking an elephant just for entertainment and to generate wealth for themselves is utterly DISGUSTING AND SHAMEFUL!! :(((

  • Gulsah Hakki says:

    Awful. Poor elephant. Please can we help stop this and save her?!

  • rosa linda says:

    Stop this cruelty!!!@!

  • Martine says:

    Shameful and sad. This needs to stop. A zoo is a disgrace.

  • Lynda Fryatt says:

    Dear God what is the matter with American Circuses? Make circuses with animals illegal PLEASE. Americans show your intelligence and boycott these hellish places, do you really need to be entertained by frightened cruelly treated defenceless animals for heavens sake

  • Kari Rosell says:

    It`s no allowed to keep animals in circus, thank to our goverment. it is horrible how they are treaten.

  • Janet Bloor says:

    When will people wake up to fact that animals are not there for their entertainment they deserve compassion and a proper environment to live and thrive. Shame on those that run this industry if people were educated to boycott any such so called entertainment the whole sorry industry will dry up.

  • Maggie Knewstub says:


    • Maria says:

      I agree with you completely!!!! This is a complete disgrace and needs to be stopped!! How DARE these people treat these innocent animals like this!!! DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS NEEDS TO BE POSTED EVERYWHERE SO PEOPLE CAN SEE WHAT REALLY GOES ON!!!

  • No civilized or humane community would tolerate this. Shame on all involved. Those who attend performing-animal circuses are as guilty as the animal-abusers. If there were no audiences, these sadistic abusers could no longer make money out of defenceless animals and the animals could be freed from their lives of cruelty and slavery.

  • Jo smith says:


  • Mona says:

    Very sad! Very terrible people! Im confused!

  • Judy Flanagan says:

    It is animal abuse which is now a felony. Those who abuse the elephant need to be arrested, taken to court, and serve time in prison.

  • This is appalling. It must stop. How do we stop it????