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Controversial Artwork Spotlights Behind-the-Scenes Abuse of Baby Elephants as Ringling Rolls Into Town
For Immediate Release:March 22, 2010
Contact:Amanda Fortino 757-622-7382
Richmond, Va. -- Two weeks ahead of the arrival of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, PETA's sad-elephant sculpture, "Ella PhantzPeril," has come to Richmond. The artwork symbolizes the suffering that baby elephants in the circus endure during training. The sculpture will be displayed today through Wednesday, April 7, at the southwest corner of E. Broad and N. 10th streets.
PETA has released dozens of never-before-seen photos taken inside Ringling's Florida training center by a veteran elephant handler. The photos expose how still-nursing baby elephants are captured rodeo-style and dragged away from their mothers. The babies scream and struggle frantically as they are wrestled, stretched out, slammed to the ground, gouged with steel-tipped bullhooks, and shocked with electric prods. These abusive sessions go on for several hours a day for up to a year.
"We hope that people will take one look at the tears in this elephant's eyes and decide to stay away from Ringling and all other traveling animal acts that take baby elephants away from their loving mothers and put them in chains for life," says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. "Elephants in circuses are deprived of everything that is precious to them--including their freedom--and endure a lifetime of loneliness, beatings, and cheap tricks."
PETA's sculpture was designed by Harry Bliss, a renowned New Yorker cartoonist and illustrator of numerous best-selling children's books. It depicts a shackled baby elephant and includes the inscription, "See Shackles, Bullhooks, Loneliness--All Under the Big Top."
For more information, please visit PETA's Web site RinglingBeatsAnimals.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.