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Ringling Elephant Sarah Collapses

Written by PETA | August 9, 2011

An elephant who was being loaded into a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus boxcar collapsed after struggling to climb the ramp, and according to an eyewitness, a Ringling crew member intimidated and forced the elephant to get up and into the railroad car. The circus was loading animals after finishing a run in Anaheim, California, and was on the way to Ontario, California.  Reports indicate that the elephant who collapsed is Sarah, an elephant whose removal from performances PETA called for last month because of her poor physical condition.

© Ameer Sanghvi


Many of the elephants forced to travel with Ringling are ill and in pain. Just weeks ago, two independent veterinarians with many years of experience with elephants analyzed video footage of Ringling’s elephant walk and opening night performance in Los Angeles and determined that one of the elephants “is clinically lame to the point of being crippled. Her condition is painful and she should not be performing” and another elephant with “a lump on [her] left upper leg demonstrates obvious pelvic lameness.”

Please join PETA in calling on Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait to make this the last time that Ringling comes to town and Ontario Mayor Paul S. Leon to allow an independent expert―not a Ringling lackey―to check on the elephant’s condition.

Written by Jennifer O’Connor

Commenting is closed.
  • Melissa Gaskins says:

    I do not understand why people still attend such events. This is just cruel and needs to be stopped.

  • nolahorserider says:

    This is a total disgrace. This has got to stop.. It should not be happening!

  • kocie says:

    I dont go to the circus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!horrible!!

  • Tracey Aston says:

    Please bann poxy circus’s and let these poor animals free. What gives you the right to cage them up 24,7 and beat them and get them to do tricks!!! It’s cruel pathetic and damn right wrong!!!! Animals should be allowed to be free and to do whatever they want!! Stop this cruelty for once and let Sarah the elephant free into the wild where she and all the other animals deserve to be!!! I’m disgusted to think in 2011 that circus are still allowed, there’s enough entertainment and stuff in this day and age for gods sake, what is this world comming to using poor defenseless animals who suffer again and again!!!! I’m sick of hearing sad stories over and over about the way these poor animals get treated time and time again!!!!! Be decent for once and do something right and give the animals the freedom they deserve, what gives you the right to tray them like this, it makes me so so mad, you wouldn’t treat humans like this even criminals in prison don’t get treated this bad!!!!! LET SARAH ND ALL THE ANIMALS FREE AND BAN CIRCUS FOR GOOD for pitts sake!!!!!!!!!

  • Sheila Rawden says:

    My God take that poor creature away from the circus..

  • Shawna Roe says:

    As a young mother,19 yrs ago , i thought it would be great to take my young kids to see a circus. I learned a hard lesson that day as I became so angry with a horse rider , who had the bit showed so far in this poor horses mouth, the horse was stumpling and foaming at the mouth. I wanted to get up and rip the bit out of his mouth and shove it in the riders mouth. The Ridereach time he stumpled she just poked him more with the spures she wore. After that I never took my children or myself to another circus. They all should be banned in all states! I myself am disgusted that the famous ringling bros would treat their animals in such a way. Give sarah and all the animals the freedom the deserve! I pray for the day that circuses do not exsist!

  • lali says:

    stop exploiting animals please dont destroy our future

  • VeganCristy says:

    I have sent my polite complaints on to the two mentioned officials listed in this report. I will also post this to FB, Twitter and friends! Everyone, spread the word… It only took me three minutes to do so. If enough of us stand-up for those who have no human voice, we can make an impact!

  • Peace4all says:

    How Is This LEAGAL :”( poor Baby!

  • Lorna Lake says:

    No animal should ever be in a circus. If people want to exhibit themselves – fine but animals should be allowed to live the life of an animal … supported by humans but not exploited. Utterly shameful.

  • Katie says:

    This is really awful – a disgusting mistreatment of a gentle and peaceful animal – let the more girl retire in peace. Is more money really an excuse to cruely to animals????

  • Rohit says:

    Disgrace to humanity!!!!!!

  • Lio says:

    Stop anything abuse animals!!!!

  • Julie Jackson-Corney says:

    Please let this stop. When will people realise that by attanding these performances they are prolonging the suffering of these and future animals used for entertainment purposes. Those who have the authority should put an immediate stop to the use of all performing animals.

  • Sharon Skerritt says:

    The publin have to speak up for theses animals. Do Not take your children to a circus with animals. No ticket sales No animal abuse. Simple!!!!!!!!!

  • Ren says:

    Do not watch animal circuses. No animal should be stressed, mistreated or forced to perform. Let them roam free!

  • karina says:

    Say no to animals circus!!!!!

  • Shannon says:

    This is just terrible, it brings tears to my eyes. I really wish I could do something for this poor elephant or just take here away from the retched people and get her to safety as soon as possible!

  • Danielle W says:

    Peta – thank you for the important work you do. We must push to allow Sarah and others like her the dignified life she needs and deserves. Poor beautiful girl. x

  • Joseph Gartner says:

    I am astonished that this form of treatment is still ongoing. There is NO EXCUSE that this abuse exists. PLEASE put an end to this!!!

  • Lawrence Carbonell says:

    When I first saw this photo, I really cried… We really need to save Sarah! Please… We need to free Sarah! :'(

  • Deepti says:

    This is shameful. Circuses cannot still expect to survive on the shows of their animal performers. It’s unacceptable that an animal who is growing old is expected to perform at the same level she did years earlier. That creature is in pain and cannot perform, anyone who thinks it is entertainment needs to have more empathy.

  • Riette Badenhorst says:

    I hate a circus that uses live animals of any kind, a disgrace!!!

  • Ioana Cristina Pop says:

    Circuses where animals are forced to perform should be outlawed. This is cruelty plain and simple. Please end this torture.

  • Mukesh Tanwar says:

    Why can not the authorities stop this cruelty against innocent beings? Why are we so inclined towards our entertainment that we forget and ignore how it is served to us? Have we become so inhuman that we can not see the cruelty inflicted on innocent beings just because we are the slaves to our senses? Humans are just humans for namesake, but are worse than animals who don’t hurt anyone for fun unlike humans who claim to be better than animals but are continously harming the creation of god who they beg for mercy from.

  • Mukesh Tanwar says:

    Why can not the authorities stop this cruelty agsins innocent beings? Why are we so inclined towards our entertainment that we forget and ignore how it is served to us? Have we become soinhuman that we can not see the cruelty inflicted on innocent beings just because we are the slaves to our senses? Humans are just humans for namesake, but are worse than animals who don’t hurt anyone for fun

  • Taylor Gilligan says:

    Dito to everything everyone else said.

  • Katie Thompson says:

    WAKE UP!!!! we’re in the 21st Century, animals aren’t here for our amusement, they should be respected and enjoyed by allowing them to thrive in their natural habitat. Allow Sarah some dignity in her older years.

  • cristina pavesi says:

    Please let this creature to be treated by a professional!! And please stop this circus from operating in your town, until they use animals for their shows!

  • Jamie says:

    This is a disgrace. It’s all about the almighty $$$$ and it has to stop now. Please do not patronize this. This is what we are teaching our children, to abuse animals! Shame on you!

  • G marshall says:

    Well done PETA for exposing this.. It breaks my heart to see this..

  • Alexander Shaltout says:

    THIS WOULD BE AN APPROPRIATE REASON TO GO OUT AND RIOT FOR. i am disgusted with whats happening. this is sick how are we supposed to treat other humans with equality, love and respect when we can’t even treat an existence that is weaker then us with love and respect

  • Harley says:

    Circus’ should just be done with completely and animals released where they really belong…in their wild homeland!!!

  • Marion says:

    Stop this please!!!!

  • Pami says:

    What an absolute and utter disgrace. Wild animals should be immediatedly banned from all circuses.

  • Mona Tehrani says:

    Please make this abuse stop. We are in 21st century, and this is unacceptable.

  • Catherine Morrison says:

    Circuses where animals are forced to perform should be outlawed. This is cruelty plain and simple. Please end this torture.

  • roxanne says:

    i don’t understand why we continue with circuses with wild animals. i mean it is beyond belief how little we have evolve. Makes me so sad to see her on the floor. same as Lucy. for God sake’s at least let them have some joy during their last years. it seems as if they literally worked them to death.

  • Maihlon says:

    poor old sarah has paid more than her dues. it’s time for her to be retired to a humane sanctuary where she can just be an old woman elephant at peace with other like animals. retired. happy. safe. loved & cared for. she has entertained enough people by intimidation. it is time for her to be entertained by those who love and care for her. SET SARAH FREE..

  • darien Stefani says:

    PLEEEEASE stop all live animal acts from performing. Abuse of animals is chronic in these situations. There are many other ways to have circus type entertainment. Forcing animals to do silly tricks should not be one of them, and it’s a terrible lesson to teach our children. Thank You, Darien Stefani

  • Jane Evil says:

    This is UNacceptable!! When it has been proven that Ringling Bros abuse and mistreat their animals, and that vets who specialize in Elephants have given their opinions that these poor animals are lame and should NOT be performing ..WHY are they still????? The videos of Sarah collapsing and the heartless trainer intimidating her to get into the train car are just horrible and beyond my comprehension! PLEASE, stop the abuse of this poor Elephant and all others like her!!! Animals should not be beaten to perform for our entertainment!!!

  • Love says:

    Don’t got to ANY circuses USING ANIMALS

  • Mariya Rohde says:

    Please follow PETA’s guidance. Never again patronize companies who do not respect life.

  • Nekzaad Vakil says:

    This is truly shameful, especially in the USA. This circus must be stopped NOW

  • Ellen Ericksen says:

    This is appalling! It sickens me that cities allow this traveling torture show to come to there towns. How much MONEY did all of these cities make while these blessed animals have to sacrifice there lives! Enough already enough.

  • Michele Carrion says:

    No one should attend a circus that has animals who are being abused and exploited. There needs to be more publicity on the inhumane treatment that these animals suffer.

  • Angela Gamblin says:

    How can we call ourselves civilized ? What is is it in the human psyche nurturing this need to conquer destroy and humiliate all of creation? And it is only our progeny that deserves preservation, care and protection? Can this paradigm ever change? Will we be able to force the circus to shut down and stories such as Sarah’s to finally to be a thing of the past? We must do everything in our power to make it so.

  • Tanya Geneman says:

    They are supose to come to Manchester NH in October where i will be protesrting outside the Verizon Wireless center.. this is unacceptable and needs to be brought to the public eye! why hasnt there been a TV program on animal violence?

  • Zenna says:

    This has to stop.

  • Nayeli says:

    Please let those poor elephants rest and give them a decent life!!