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Meet Karen: 45 Years of Suffering in the Circus (Video)

Written by Jennifer O'Connor | February 28, 2014

Karen was still a nursing baby when she was torn away from her mother and family in Thailand 45 years ago, shipped around the world, and sold to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Since then, she has known nothing but misery.

Karen tested positive for tuberculosis antibodies in 2010 and was barred from entering Tennessee as a result. Since at least 1997, this ailing elephant has suffered from lameness so severe that she has been dosed with Banamine and Adequan, (anti-inflammatory medications used to treat arthritis and degenerative joint disease), yet she is still forced to travel with Ringling’s Blue Unit. She is chained for hours on end and hauled around in a reeking, stifling railroad boxcar from one venue to the next. She bobs and sways almost nonstop.

Karen has reportedly been viciously beaten with a bullhook, and her tail has even been fractured—little wonder, then, that this tormented elephant has been aggressive toward people. And she’s paid the price for her rebellion. Karen has scar tissue on her jaw, where a Ringling handler embedded a bullhook so deep that he had trouble removing it.

What You Can Do

Four decades of suffering is long enough. Ask government officials to seize Karen and take her off the road immediately.

Commenting is closed.
  • mirielle chafer says:

    Set her free it’s cruel barbaric evil unecessary poor beautiful baby

  • PLEASE, PLEASE SAVE KAREN FROM THIS HORRENDOUS LIFE OF CRUELTY, NEGLECT, LACK OF MEDICAL TREATMENT AND FORCED TO PERFORM STUPID TRICKS FOR THIS MONEY GRABBING CIRCUS OWNER! Karen needs rescued NOW and get to live the rest of her life in a sanctuary where she will be loved and cared for and receive the medical treatment she desperately requires! This man should be charged for his crimes to Karen and all animals rescued from this Circus and the Circus closed down permanently and he should be made to pay for her medical treatment and if he doesn’t he should be thrown in jail and chained like he’s done to Karen all her life. He is a WICKED, WICKED HUMAN BEING!

  • Bibi says:

    I hate the circus! So proud my daughter has NEVER been to one! Free this poor soul!

  • Captivity by humans in the modern world must be condemned at every level, for its utter primitiveness!

  • Kim Breakey says:

    So horrifying that man kind can abuse any animal at all. Unbelievable the handler are violently torturing this innocent beautiful creature. Free Karen, let her live the remainder of her years roaming free for once in her life.

  • As a human race we need to stop all cruel treatment of animals, and especially protect endangered animals. These animals have served their time for crimes that they never committed. They deserve to live out the remainder of their lives in a sanctuary where they can finally enjoy their lives!

  • This animal has been suffering for fourthy years and hurt internally. Beat beyond belief and taken from her family as a baby. Please set the grieving elephant free. Please:'(

  • Heartbreaking. I wish all circuses that use animals were all gone at this second.

  • Kate nieto says:

    The trainers of elephants are sick people

  • Joanne M says:

    What is wrong with this world that the cries of the innocent, captured and abused are not FELT!? How is this kind of thing STILL allowed?

  • Lynda says:

    I sit here in my comfortable home, I can go out at my leisure and enjoy freedom. My heart is sad for Karen, she has no choice in life. Her remaining years should be roaming the land and having her freedom.