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Recent Visit by Circus That Has a History of Unsafe Handling of Animals and That Used an Elephant Who Once Attacked a Handler Prompts Action
For Immediate Release:March 31, 2010
Contact:RaeLeann Smith 757-622-7382
Daytona Beach, Fla. -- PETA has sent an urgent letter to Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey calling on him to help ban elephant rides within the city. The request comes in the wake of the recent visit by the Liebel Family Circus, which offered elephant rides for children and has been repeatedly cited and fined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for handling animals in a manner that poses a safety risk to both the animals and humans. In fact, the elephant used by Liebel to give rides just two weeks ago, Nosey, attacked her handler in 2004, lifting him off the ground and propelling him down an incline. The man was rushed to the hospital with a head injury. PETA has offered to meet with the mayor to discuss the proposed ban.
PETA has also sent the mayor video footage taken at the event that reveals that the individual charged with controlling Nosey appears to be dividing her attention between the elephant and a toddler in her care. The handler at times is seen walking ahead of Nosey while holding a bullhook (a sharp, steel-tipped device that resembles a fireplace poker) in her right hand and the child's hand in her left.
"Because of the years of abuse that Nosey has suffered, she--like other elephants abused by the circus industry--is a ticking time bomb," says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. "For elephants' sake and to protect the safety of Daytona Beach residents, the city should ban elephant rides before someone is hurt--or worse."
During one USDA inspection, Nosey was housed in an enclosure with an inadequate barrier that was directly adjacent to a public sidewalk. The elephant was left unattended and the inspector noted that "[m]embers of the public, including small children, were observed coming by and stopping to observe the elephant. A small child could easily go [through] the barrier and most adults could step over this barrier or move it." At another point, the circus owner left his young son in charge of Nosey.
For more information, please visit PETA's Web site Circuses.com.
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.