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Water-Skiing Elephant Dies

Written by PETA | June 1, 2011

Queenie, an Asian elephant who spent her entire life in captivity, has died at Georgia’s Wild Adventures Water and Theme Park at age 59. Queenie was only 6 months old when her owner began training her to water ski—yes, water ski—at a Florida theme park. For 15 years in the ’50s and ’60s, Queenie performed three or four times a day, accompanied by blasting music. She was then sold to a traveling elephant act and then sold and resold over and over again before ending her sad days at Wild Adventures.

From her mother’s warm comfort to the cold shock of this.

While water-skiing elephants may be a thing of the past, elephants in circuses today lead lives equally as bereft as Queenie’s. Baby elephants used by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus are torn away from their frantic mothers to be broken and trained for a life of servitude. They spend decades in chains, trying to avoid being hit with bullhooks

Don’t let a circus come to your town unchallenged. Plan a protest (we can help!), contact the sponsors, and write a letter to the editor. Your actions make a difference!

Written by Jennifer O’Connor

Commenting is closed.
  • carol says:

    What a sad and lonely life Queenie had and as a human being able to see this I am ashamed of the people of the world for what they do to animals especially such magnificant elephants who are gentle giants. I hope with enough pressure to bear on the people who are still doing this to elephants namely Ringlings that we can put an end to this psychological and physical abuse.

  • Sue says:

    That poor elephant. I hope she is now resting in peace.

  • Rachael says:

    I watched in great sadness at this clip, for 59 long years Queenie never knew family lived in solitude, forced to perform for public gratification over and over. RIP you beautiful girl…I am so sorry for the life you were forced to lead…..

  • Summer says:

    No elephant should be forced to perfom like a slave for cruel humans. What a life to subject such a beautiful and dignified animal to. Boycott any circus with animals. Let the humans perform their own tricks.

  • Liz (Green) Dane says:

    I just reread Jennifer O’Connor’ comments and now I am REALLY P*#$&@!!! Jennifer – you do not have cl;ue one as to what you are ranting about. Yes, we got Queenie when she was six months old. She was raised by my family – as a member of our family. You state “Queenie was only 6 months old when her owner began training her to water ski—yes, water ski—at a Florida theme park. For 15 years in the ’50s and ’60s, Queenie performed three or four times a day, accompanied by blasting music.” How pray tell, did you come up with that? Were you there – did you ever see her water ski – did you hear blasting music? NO, of course you weren’t. But I was. Queenie was not taught to water-ski until she was much older. And for your information – she LOVED to water-ski. She loved to dip her truck in the water and spray it all over. Do you honestly think for a minute that we would force her to do something that she did not want to do – or that was unsafe? We never forced her to do anything!!! And as far as the blaring music?? Pray tell, what tune did you hear playing?

  • Jo Ann says:

    RIP Queenie, you are finally at peace, my heart cries for them all.

  • Liz (Green) Dane says:

    More folks might listen to what you PETA people have to say if you got your stories straight before uttering them. First of all – Queenie’s life was NOT hell. And she was NOT sold over and over again. We bought her in 1953 and she was treated as a much loved family member. We sold her in 1967 to a wonderful family that had other elephants where she remained until 1981. That family then sold Queenie and their other elephants (keeping Queenie’s elephant “family” intact) to a circus in California. She remained there until 2001 when she “retired” and relocated at Wild Adventures in Valdosta, GA. I visited her often there. She was very much loved and received exceptional, tender loving care. And yes, there are some unscrupulous circus animal keepers but your broad brush comments are totally unfounded. Your efforts would be better spent going after the thousands of people that abuse their household pets.

  • sara says:

    No one can hurt you now.  RIP Queenie!!  

  • mcmullin72 says:

    Why do we use animals for entertainment?

  • gloria potts says:

    noooo more circus ever not in my town!!!

  • Zenna says:

    that’s the sad thing, Aneliese. Lots of ignorant fools think this is cool.

  • nadia says:

    poor baby :*( i hope you finally find some comfort in heaven !

  • oliviad says:

    R.I.P. Queenie! This is horrible that people make animals do this stuff. Elephants should be kept in the wild where they belong.

  • Sharon says:

    Queenie rip in elephant heaven xx 

    Ban circuses with any’s cruel and unjust

    Animals belong in there natural surroundings with their families

    To tear them away from mothers so young for our entertainment is heartbreaking 

  • MA Moore says:

    THIS IS NOT ENTERTAINMENT, THIS IS A FREAK SHOW! NO LIVE ANIMALS IN ENTERTAINMENT! If people want to see these beautiful, majestic animals, they should go on Safari or watch National Geographic! Get em PETA!

  • aclineo says:

    awww rip queenie. if only you’d lived a life of freedom.

  • Aneliese says:

    Anyone who can look at a water skiing elephant and think “Oh, cool!” is sick. RIP Queenie, I’m sorry your life was hell.

  • jordan turner says:

    That is aweful. It sounds like her whole life was hell. I tell ya, if a circus even thinks about comming to my town, there will be big issues!