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Yet Another Sick Elephant at Ringling

Written by PETA | September 21, 2011

Imagine having to perform strenuous physical tasks even though you were suffering from diarrhea and abdominal discomfort so severe that you were taking pain medication. That’s just another day in the life of Banko, a 35-year-old female Asian elephant traveling with  Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus who was forced to perform even though she was sick.

Of course, this is the same Ringling show that is dragging around ailing elephant Sarah, who collapsed last month while being loaded into a boxcar in California. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Ringling for failing to provide Sarah with adequate veterinary care and for requiring Banko to perform (doing so was inconsistent with promoting her good health and well-being).

The USDA also issued a citation to Ringling for handling animals in a way that causes injury after a handler closed a cage door on the tail of a 9-year-old tiger named Kimba, who suffered a laceration as a result. Ringling gave every appearance that it had something to hide when it denied federal officials access to the employee who was responsible.

Tell every parent you know what’s really going on at Ringling Bros. Ask them to avoid supporting circus cruelty by refusing to buy a ticket.


Written by Jennifer O’Connor

Commenting is closed.
  • claudette babineau says:

    that so sad to treat an elephant such a bright,clever and wise animal this way when in fact is putting food on there table is unexceptable … i vote for circuses not to have any animals at all … all animals deserve compassion and respect especially if there out out of there habitat ..

  • Lisa says:

    What is wrong with your Country?? you let this abuse continue over and over again and yet nothing is ever done to help these elephants, Ringlings will continue to abuse these animals for years to come these poor elephants have no hope and noone to help them.

  • allis hansen says:


  • Frankie M says:

    This has got to end! This is animal abuse plain and simple! How is it these “Trainers” are not in jail? Ringling needs to be shut down!

  • Jodie Foster says:

    Why is this unnecessary cruelty allowed to continue? It just doesnt make sense to me, WTF is wrong with society!!!

  • aircrayola says:

    We watched the circus elephants come down the street, trunks holding tails, graduated in size from largest to the very smallest.  It was amazing and unbelievably cute and taking place On Our Street. They were going to the waiting parked train – something really old with fresh silver paint.  

    They loaded the largest elephants in one of the first cars. As I remember it was 3 to a car.  The largest elephant was loaded second, and he hit his head and roared and staggered backwards on the ramp. The “handler” urged him forward and the elephant suffered another crack because the opening was too low. He had to dip his head to get in.

    I hate to say that he was taken out of the car – something must have ended up wrong – how could that be?  He was then reloaded again, with the the exact same consequences.  Some people actually laughed but we… I can still feel him hit his head – so many years later.

    I understand and fully appreciate how amazing it is to have such a legendary and engaging animal within arm’s reach for a fleeting moment.  Breathtaking! But let us relinquish this cruel entrapment.  

    Let us support the elephant preserves with their stories of old friends finding one another and the joy that their elephants express with each day.  This is where our ticket money should go – to the people who can provide a piece of land for the great elephants to walk where they please.

  • kim says:

    they are beings just like all of us

  • Joyce says:

    Please leave this animal alone; she needs to care and love. I will not support your cause due to the lack of respect you have for your animals.

  • Liisa Markkanen says:

    I am appalled at the cruelty inflicted on elephants and other animals. They cannot be allowed to get away with this anymore. Let’s support the voiceless, helpless animals and boycott their circus!

  • M says:


  • Mark M. in Nebraska says:

    This is horrible. How are we raising young people that they grow up to become such despicable adults? All animals deserve compassion and respect and decency, but elephants especially are amongst the crew absolutely bright enough to carry this trauma as an emotional wound. He didn’t just hit her face, he hit her soul.

  • nancy says:

    stop the cruelty…i hope everyone will come to their senses and stop going to this circus..human performances are entertaining enough…the animals should not be suffering like this…i hope everyone will be the voice for these beautiful creatures!!!!!!

  • Manoj Wehalla says:

    These animals like small children. They can’t share the pain by talk. As we humans we should think about it. Wat kind of sick people do this kind of abuse. We should help PeTA to help these animal. Also I like to thank great people of peta. You all got great intentions.

  • George says:

    I pledge never to attend a Cirus where animals are forced to perform.

  • sheila Rawden says:

    No more animlals in the circus…its old hat now..leave her to enjoy a healthy retirment..

  • Silvia Brinzea says:

    How is it possible to treat animal like this. Circus is a legal cruelty. Stop this, I urge you all to change your minds about Circus which is a horrible abuse of animals. Animals should stay in their natural environment and not in a Circus, where people are forcing them to do tricks which are absolutely not in their nature. Stop that and start to think and change the future of these animals.

  • Deloris says:

    These men’s should be punished this is heart breaking!!

  • Laina Lamb says:

    Stop the animal acts at all circuses. The animals should be able to live the rest of their lives in a natural environment.

  • Heidi Beck says:

    Please stop torturing animals for your own monatery gain!!!

  • Cristina Cassinelli says:


  • monique thompson says:

    What kind of human does this to an animal? It makes me sick to think there are people and organizations out there like you. Stop doing this to these unique creatures who are aching with pain. Please think of these animals

  • Carole Lalonde says:

    I can now say for sure that I hate those trainers, they do that type of job for the sole purpose of inflict pain to an innocent animal. I wish that the people who can stop this would actually do something about it. Any type of trick or show that involves any form of cruelty to animals should never be allowed. We have seen the results of great animal extraordinary tricks achieved with kindness to the animals who perform for the pleasure of humans. Please find a way to stop this cruelty to elephants and their babies by such ignorant handlers and trainers. Carole Lalonde Quebec, Canada

  • Monique Mahony says:

    The blatant lack of care shown in this video are not just pointless, it is cruel and condescending. (why did he need to hit the elephant in the face? What was he hoping to prove?) Circuses do not need to have animals in their shows. In Australia we have animal free circuses and promote human performed circus arts as part of degree courses, festivals, theatre and many other types of events. The cruelty and disrespect these animals suffer in serves no higher purpose, nor does it assist the lives of anyone, especially the animals.

  • Anna Manefox says:

    STOP the cruelty to the elephants emidiatly!!!! You should be ashamed to abuse animals like this. I hope no one ever comes to see your awful and horrible torment.

  • ERD says:

    This breaks my heart. I hope now that you exposed such cruely they will stop. In any case, I will attend any Ringling Brothers shows and tell my friends to do the same until they treat their animals better. Please keep us updated about this cir cus.

  • Valerie M Cooper-Bondar says:

    PETA please rescue Banko and Sarah and stop those cruel people from being so evil. Please help these little elephants and others like them, I implore you.

  • Julie Cox says:

    That’s disgusting. They obviously care more about money and the exploitation of innocence besides pure cruelty. We need to post this on their site too.

  • Liliana Peana says:

    Shame on you people…. you should be punished for this!!!

  • Lyn Fryer says:

    There is absolutely no need for live animals in circuses these days and the cruelty and mishandling carried out on these poor animals is disgusting.

  • Lewette Goodson says:

    Please stop tormenting these beautiful creatures! People have a choice to be in a circus or not, and what they’ll do, but animals have no say.

  • Raven Hannah says:

    When is this ignorant abuse going to stop??? These “animal attractions” are cruel and inhumane, not to mention ridiculously outdated. Let these poor, innocent animals live in peace already. We have never, ever supported any circuses, zoos, aquariums or the like and never will.

  • Susmita Ramani says:

    Boycott Ringling Bros!!!!

  • Cid says:

    It is shameful that I am STILL signing petitions regarding this issue. These scumbags have no shame. May the perpetrators and passive participants experience the same treatment in their own lives and the lives of their descendants, forevermore.

  • Christine Guelpa says:

    If you are adamant on having animals In your show which I have to state I AM TOTALLY AGAINST. Then may I suggest you take better care of them. They are God’s loving creatures just like you and I. So have a heart and do what’s right.

  • sophie mounouchos says:

    stop this cruelty

  • sophie mounouchos says:

    stop this cruelty