Earlier this week, we posted undercover video footage taken by London-based Animal Defenders International showing a handler who used a pitchfork and a club to viciously beat an elephant named Annie. When confronted with the video, the elephant’s owner, Bobby Roberts, wisely scrambled to save face by allowing Annie to retire from his “Super Circus” and spend the rest of her days at Longleat, an 80-acre drive-through safari park in Wiltshire, England.
Like most elephants in captivity, 58-year-old Annie suffers from painful arthritis, and her health was too poor for her to perform. Four years ago, PETA offered to pay for Roberts to visit The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, hoping that he would retire Annie there, but Roberts never responded to our offer. Unfortunately, it seems to have taken video footage of a vicious beating to prod him into action.
Meanwhile, PETA U.K. is still urging its members and supporters to e-mail the U.K. animal welfare minister and ask him to push through a bill prohibiting animals from being used in circuses. Here in the U.S., you can help elephants still suffering in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus by e-mailing the USDA and urging it to confiscate the Ringling’s abused elephants.
Written by Michelle Sherrow