Elephants Carol, Patty, and Lou were exploited in cruel circuses for years. But instead of being given the rest and relaxation that they desperately need, they’re forced to participate in bathing, feeding, toenail painting, and photo interactions at Myakka Elephant Ranch in Florida during the winter and at Wilstem Wildlife Park in Indiana in the summer.
Unsurprisingly, the Barreda family, which runs the Florida roadside zoo, has a history of disregarding elephants’ well-being. When the animals were on the road, the family failed to offer Lou adequate veterinary care for a large lump on her face that was secreting a bloody discharge, and they kept elephants like her on short chains for 24 hours a day! Treating elephants like this is a pernicious form of speciesism, discrimination based solely on species membership.
Elephants are sensitive, highly intelligent animals who need space to roam, forage, socialize, and play on their own terms. Those used in circuses and direct encounters are denied the opportunity to satisfy their instinctual needs and desires. They’re trained using abusive methods to force them into submission. As babies, they’re chained down until their spirits are broken. Then, they’re jabbed and beaten with bullhooks—sharp weapons that resemble a fireplace poker—and shocked with electric prods until they learn to “behave.”
Please urge the Barreda family to give Lou, Carol, and Patty the rest and relaxation that they deserve by retiring them to an accredited sanctuary.
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