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A Police Officer Never Forgets

Written by PETA | February 2, 2009
whatismatt / CC

Blayne Doyle, a retired Florida police officer, had several harrowing experiences during his many years on the force. He was shot and stabbed and was involved in life-threatening automobile, motorcycle, and airplane accidents. But if you were to ask him which event stuck out as the most frightening, he would tell you that it was the day he was forced to shoot and kill an 8,000-pound rampaging elephant named Janet, who was carrying a woman and five children on her back. Yesterday was the 17th anniversary of this tragic event. Sadly, not much has changed in the intervening years. For example, the Liebel Family Circus, which tours throughout Florida, is currently using an elephant named Nosey to give rides.

Blayne has reached out to the governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, asking him to ban elephant rides in Florida.

The most shocking part to me is that, in 2004, a circus worker reported that Nosey attacked him during an appearance in Clinton, Iowa. While the worker was tending to the elephant’s water dish, Nosey hit him with her tusk, lifted him off his feet, and propelled him down an incline. The worker was rushed to the hospital and received stitches for a head injury. But somehow it’s safe to let children ride on Nosey’s back? I don’t think so.

So, Gov. Crist, won’t you please ban elephant rides in Florida? By doing so, not only will you send the powerful message that elephants should not be abused for entertainment, you might also prevent history from repeating itself.

Written by Liz Graffeo

Commenting is closed.
  • lynda downie says:

    Thanks for taking a stand Blayne. I wonder how long it would take for any of us to snap if we were brutally forced into a lifetime of isolation from other humans performing acts against our nature in foreign surroundings?

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    I remember when this incident happened and I have seen the footage shot of Janet while this was happening. It was absolutely horrifying for everyone especially Officer Doyle and his collegues and the passengers on Janet’s back. This should never have happened and should never happen again. Parents please be strong and say a flat “No!” when the kids beg for an elephant ride at the circus or zoo. You can explain why when you get home in the excitment of the moment they won’t be listening to reason.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Right on Blaynethanks for caring! One of the many parts of Earthlings that always chokes me up is when the elephant in the circus runs “amuck” read behaves naturally like the wild animal she is she is summarily killed. The contrast between her gay circus attire and her painful death makes it all the more difficult to stomach.

  • Michael Essi says:

    Please everyone must write to my Governor Charlie Crist to encourage this ban as well as a ban on traveling animal acts throughout Florida and everywhere for that matter. Aside from the issues related to animal cruelty no community can afford the economic catastrophe that follows these incidences those include lawsuits residential and commercial property damage and loss of business because of property damage to businesses. Furthermore the potential loss of life injury and emotional and mental scarring of the public who has to witness an out of control wild animal is equally as damaging to our local communities.