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Lame Elephants Still on the Road

Written by Michelle Kretzer | December 12, 2011

The record penalty paid by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for violations of federal animal welfare laws has so far made no difference for the lame and suffering elephants the circus forces to travel and perform for months at a time. So PETA has sent an urgent appeal to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) asking that the agency order a comprehensive, independent evaluation of the elephants and prohibit Ringling from taking elephants in distress on the road.

Accompanied by PETA’s captive wildlife specialist, two veterinarians with decades of elephant experience attended multiple Ringing shows and expressed serious concerns about the health and well-being of eight elephants. One elephant was observed with an abscessed toenail (foot problems are the number one reason why elephants in the U.S. are euthanized), and another had diarrhea. 

While Siam, a 33-year-old, wild-caught Asian elephant, was lying down, a black hole consistent with an abscess was visible on her front left foot.

All eight displayed severely abnormal behaviors and have extensive scarring from being struck with bullhooks. Fifty-four-year-old elephants Aussan and Sarah have shown a dramatic decline in their physical condition during the past few months alone.

The experts also saw a zebra escape from an enclosure during a show and a tiger whose tail was caught in a cage door.

These elephants cannot wait while the USDA pats itself on the back for penalizing Ringling. Please click here to urge the USDA to take immediate enforcement action to get Aussan, Sarah, and all the other elephants suffering for Ringling off the road for good.

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  • lorena peinado says:

    Como me gustaria que el ser humano dejara de maltratar a sus hermanos los animales, quienes no tienen derechos o estos no son respetados y sufren maltratos y trabajos forzados hasta su triste muierte. Ojala que un dia el hombre sea mas caritativo.

  • lorena peinado says:

    prohiban los circos con animales y dejenlos descanasr en una reserva, ya basta de tenerlos enjaulados toda su vida.

  • Leslie Rice says:

    To see the ongoing suffering of baby and adult elephants is beyond heartbreaking. I can’t even stomach the name “circus” as it represents cruelty to animals. They make their money off the suffering of animals.

  • Adair Leonard says:

    Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has NO compassion for animals. It’s all about greed for them. Why must these precious elephants have to be tortured and suffer to satisfy their greed! It is absolutely shameful. PLEASE release these elephants to a sanctuary immediately where they can live the remainder of their lives in peace and comfort which they so deserve.

  • Sue from CT says:

    After years of complaints, why is the USDA still not doing anything about the cruelty inflicted upon elephants in circuses-esp. Ringling Bros; who have a very bad reputation???? Remove these elephants and retire them to Sanctuary. Every day USDA does nothing is another day of suffering. It’s shameful.

  • Lisa says:

    PLEASE help these helpless animals. They are God’s creatures. How would you like to be treated this way?????

  • teresa clark says:

    please stop abusing these elephants let them live peacefully with out torture

  • LISA COLLETTI says:

    RETIRE THESE ELEPHANTS NOW. THERE IS NOONE IN MY GROUP THAT WILL EVER GO TO RINGLING BROS. AGAIN BECAUSE OF THE CHAINING AND CAGING AND ILL TREATMENT THAT GOES ON. THIS MUST STOP NOW

  • Cornelia Mangold-Thiede says:

    Help these elefants as soon as possible, their life is a bad life with suffering and much pain.

  • Elena Perez de Gracia says:

    Por favor prohiban circos con animales en sus ciudades es un atraso permitir en este siglo este tipo de espectáculo