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Ringling Elephant Diagnosed With TB

Written by PETA | April 11, 2011

PETA recently uncovered that an elephant traveling with the Ringling Bros. circus, 42-year-old Karen, has tested positive for tuberculosis and was banned from the state of Tennessee earlier this year.

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has documented the “high prevalence” of tuberculosis among captive elephants, a serious disease that is highly transmissible from elephants to humans. In 2009 nine people were infected by a TB-positive elephant at a refuge—some who had little or even no direct contact with the infected elephant.

Lota, an elephant who was rented out to circuses, suffered with TB for years before the USDA finally took action that resulted in her being sent to the Elephant Sanctuary, where she spent the last months of her life getting some long-overdue TLC.

 
Karen is already in poor health. She suffers from painful arthritis and serious foot problems­­—the leading reasons that captive elephants in the U.S. are euthanized. Late in 2010, Karen and another ailing elephant, Minyak, were both granted a reprieve and permitted to stop traveling, but as of March 2011, Karen is back with Ringling’s Blue Unit. She is being forced to perform strenuous and painful tricks, including headstands, that aggravate her condition.

Since Ringling has made it clear it won’t give this ailing elephant a break, please ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture—the agency in charge of protecting animals in circuses—to intercede and pull Karen off the road permanently.

 
Written by Jennifer O’Connor

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  • Mandy Hanton says:

    Any circus using animals should be boycotted.

  • Phil Davie says:

    This is appalling. Animals do NOT belong in circuses.This is the 21st century. It’s time it was stopped. PLEASE help poor Karen and all the animals like her. It’s got to stop. Please bring it to an end now.

  • ashley says:

    I have seen Ringling Brother’s blue unit touring. I got to go behind the scenes of it and actually meet the elephants as part of my management course at my college… Karen and the other elephants were hapily playing with each other and the branches and tires they were given

  • Virginia says:

    Its pathetic to allow this poor elephant to be made to suffer as much as she obviously is. Please grant this beautiful, intelligent, sensitive animal the right to be relieved of this suffering and be allowed to enjoy the little time she probably has in a place she can be loved and cared for.

  • Jackie Renner says:

    uuhhh, we are in the 21st century here…it is time to DO AWAY WITH THIS RIDICULOUS ancient evil “entertainment”. GO IN AND REMOVE THE ANIMAL(s).

  • Deanna says:

    Circuses should be illegal and banned. Animals live such a harsh life being in captivity. I do not believe or will never support a circus. I have children that would love to go, but I refuse to take them nor to give my money to support them.

  • Dawn says:

    These inteligent creatures need protection from the cruelties of man, wherever they are. To bad that just isn’t happenning.

  • Tammy Robertson says:

    WHERE IS THERE A PETITION TO BAN ALL CIRCUSES??? SINCE TREATING ANIMALS THIS WAY THE PEOPLE THERE SHOULD ALL BE OUT OF WORK AND LEFT IN THE DUST!!

  • Tammy Robertson says:

    CIRCUS’ SHOULD JUST BE OUTRIGHT BANNED!!! IF THIS IS WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO ANIMALS THEN THEY SHOULD LOSE THEIR JOBS AND THE WHOLE INDUSTRY SHOULD BE BANNED! I AM HEARBROKEN!! AND DISGUSTED WITH THESE PEOPLE!!!

  • Claudia says:

    this is a very mean thing who can stand to see this poor animals suffer they must not have a heart

  • Donna De Sopo says:

    Time to end the savage treatment of elephants and other beloved wild and domestic animals. Please set Karen FREE!!!

  • violet says:

    awwe this just made me super sad! :( poor elephants! :(

  • Hanne says:

    Plase, please show some kindness.

  • Time for us to care for them! says:

    Elephants are very dear to my heart. They grieve like humans, form families, many,many other similarities. These animals should be protected from circuses in general due to the lack of care associated w/these entertainment venues! Please step in and grant Karen, who has diligently worked VERY HARD all her life, some peace, love and care by allowing her to live out her life in a elephant sanctuary! God Bless You!