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12 Things Ringling Doesn’t Want You to Know

If there’s one thing Ringling Bros. circus has proved over the years, it’s that it’s the cruelest show on Earth. Here are 12 things that Ringling Bros. doesn’t want you to know.

1. The circus tears babies away from their mothers.

Baby Elephant Training

At around 21 months old, baby elephants are dragged away from their mothers, who have to be restrained. In the wild, males stay with their mothers until they’re teenagers and female elephants stay with their mothers their entire lives.

2. “Breaking” elephants really means “breaking their spirits.”

Baby Elephants in Barn

Baby elephants are forced to stand on a concrete floor for about 23 hours a day for up to six months, unable to lie down or even turn around.

3. Trainers use bullhooks, ropes, and electric prods.

Baby Elephant Training Photo With Circled Bullhook

Baby elephants learn to fear bullhooks from a very young age.

4. Training goes unmonitored by any agency of any kind.

Ringling Baby Elephant Training

The elephants cry out, but there is no one there to help them.

5. Elephants spend most of their lives in chains.

Elephants in Chains

When they aren’t performing, elephants are confined.

6. Elephants travel in boxcars like these for up to 100 hours straight.

Ringling Elephant Boxcar

The doors are barely bigger than they are.

7. Elephants are beaten for the slightest disobedience.

Ringling Trainer Hitting an Elephant

8. The wounds on this elephant are plainly visible.

Ringling Elephant Abrasions

Trainers usually cover them up with “Wonder Dust” so that inspectors can’t see them.

9. Ringling paid a $270,000 fine for violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

Ringling Elephants with BullhookPhoto by Amy Meyer

It’s the largest fine ever paid by an animal exhibitor in the history of the AWA.

10. Ringling’s abuse lasts a lifetime.

The elephant Karen was found to be crippled and arthritic by multiple elephant experts, but she is still on the road with Ringling today.

11. Protests pop up almost everywhere that Ringling goes.

Ringling Bros. Protest

Drive by almost any Ringling Bros. show, and this is what you’ll almost certainly see.

12. Even kids know about Ringling’s abuse.

Kids Protesting Ringling Bros.

The sheen around “the cruelest show on Earth” is nearly gone, as more and more people speak out against Ringling’s barbaric practices every day.

You can help the elephants and other animals Ringling uses by sharing this page on Facebook now.