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Entertainer Joins PETA in Urging City to Stop Elephant Rides at the Santa Ana Zoo
For Immediate Release: November 12, 2010
Contact: Amanda Schinke 757-622-7382
Santa Ana, Calif. -- After learning that the Santa Ana Zoo continues to offer elephant rides to zoo visitors—a practice that the Association of Zoos and Aquariums has encouraged its members to discontinue in the interest of safety—Spanish guitar legend Charo fired off a letter on PETA's behalf to Santa Ana Mayor Miguel A. Pulido calling on him to put an end to the archaic practice.
Writes Charo, "I have spent my career entertaining people, but there is nothing remotely entertaining about hurting elephants. Please, Mayor Pulido, step in and put a stop to this cruelty."
Have Trunk Will Travel, the company providing the elephant rides at the zoo, has publicly supported the cruel use of electric shock prods on elephants. In addition, one of the company's elephants ran amok at the Denver Zoo, throwing a trainer against a wall, scattering crowds of zoogoers, and knocking over a mother and her baby, who was in a stroller.
Charo's letter to Mayor Miguel A. Pulido follows. For more information, please visit PETA.org or click here.
November 9, 2010
The Honorable Miguel A. PulidoMayor of Santa Ana
Dear Mayor Pulido,
Congratulations on your re-election as mayor of Santa Ana! Today, I am writing to ask you to ban elephant rides at the Santa Ana Zoo.
I have been working with my friends at PETA to draw attention to the cruel use of bullhooks to "control" elephants who are forced to provide these rides. Bullhooks are awful devices that resemble a fireplace poker with a sharp metal hook at the end. Bullhook-wielding trainers hit and jab the elephants, using fear and intimidation to force the animals into obedience. The elephants "go along" because they don't want to be hurt.
But a frightened elephant is a dangerous elephant, and over the years, many people—including children—have been injured after stressed elephants have snapped and run amok. Most zoos stopped offering elephant rides years ago because of the danger posed to the public. The Santa Ana Zoo's promotion of elephant rides is reckless, and the liability to the city is very real.
An elephant used by Have Trunk Will Travel—the company providing the rides at the Santa Ana Zoo—went on a rampage while on loan at the Denver Zoo, throwing her handler against a wall and knocking over a mother and her baby, who was in a stroller. It was hours before the elephant was brought under control.
I have spent my career entertaining people, but there is nothing remotely entertaining about hurting elephants. Please, Mayor Pulido, step in and put a stop to this cruelty.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.