Despite the fact that footage of a handler with Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT) beating and shocking an elephant named Tai has been widely publicized, California institutions continue to hire the shady outfit. In addition to the Santa Ana Zoo, which offers rides on elephants provided by HTWT, the city of Sierra Madre, California, had planned to feature Tai in its July Fourth parade today. But after hearing from PETA and hundreds of concerned citizens, the city canceled its plans and Tai will get the day off.
HTWT is unrepentant about the footage showing elephant beatings and has even defended the use of bullhooks (rods resembling fireplace pokers with sharp metal hooks on the end) and electric shock prods. PETA had pointed out to Sierra Madre officials that not only is using Tai in parades cruel to her, it also poses a risk to paradegoers, since Tai could easily be spooked by the noise and commotion of a large crowd, live bands, and possibly even fireworks, and break free, which could lead to injuries.
You can celebrate Independence Day by urging the Santa Ana Zoo to follow Sierra Madre’s lead and stop doing business with HTWT. Every organization that hires HTWT helps pay for the oppression of elephants.
Written by Alisa Mullins